Press briefing on China's economic development in 70 years

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Canyou tell us more about the current operations of enterprise employees' pension funds? What measures have the finance departments taken to ensure that pensions are paid in full and on time?

Liu Kun:

Thanks for your question. First of all, China's pension funds are operating smoothly and the payment of pensions are guaranteed. Let me share some statistics with you. By the end of last year, the income for enterprise employees' pension funds was 3.8 trillion yuan and spending was 3.2 trillion yuan. Last year's balance was nearly 600 billion yuan, which contributed to the accumulated surplus, totaling 4.8 trillion yuan. From January to July, the pension income was 2.2 trillion yuan and spending was around 2 trillion yuan, with an annual surplus of 200 billion yuan, or around 5 trillion yuan in accumulated balance. From these statistics, we can conclude that the payment of old-age pensions is guaranteed.

We have also noticed that due to the increasing aging population, imbalanced population flow, as well as the fact that the funds cannot be transferred across different provinces, some provinces have indeed faced large pressures while trying to maintain their balance. Some provinces may encounter imbalances in their income and spending due to the dependency ratio problem. While Mr. Yi has used three "arrows" to improve financing conditions for private businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises, we want to help move the pension system toward a fairer and more sustainable path through the following four measures.

First, improve the proportion of the central government's allocation for employees' pension to relieve the pressure in some provinces. In 2019, we raised the proportion to 3.5%, making the total amount of allocation funds 630 billion yuan, among which 150 billion yuan is now benefiting the central and western regions as well as the regions of the old industrial bases. Through this measure, the pressure in the fund balance for some provinces have been effectively relieved and several provinces have solved their problems.

Second, nationwide implementation of the policy for transferring some state assets to the country's social security funds. In November 2017, the State Council announced a plan to transfer some state-owned assets into social security funds. Specifically, it decided to transfer 10% of shares of the large and medium-sized state-owned enterprises and financial institutions to the funds. After the announcement, the finance ministry as well as other related departments have been actively executing the plan through the pilot and tier-based principle to ensure its smooth implementation. At present, a total of 53 central state-owned enterprises and 14 central financial institutions have transferred around 860 billion yuan to the pension funds. Local authorities have also been progressing with first-phase preparations. In July this year, the Executive Meetings ofState Council decided to roll out the measure nationwide to increase social security funds. We will actively adopt measures to ensure its smooth operation nationwide.

Third, raise subsidies for pension funds. In recent years, the central government has been increasing the subsidies for pension funds on a yearly basis, particularly for the central and western regions as well as the regions of the old industrial bases that are suffering large imbalances. This year, the central budget plans to allocate 528.5 billion yuan in subsidies for pensions, up by 9.4% year-on-year, which is quite an increase compared to previous years. We will continue to increase the subsidies and support the full and timely payment of pensions.

Fourth, deepen institutional reform. According to the central government's arrangements and requirements, we will accelerate the establishment of a unified national platform for social security public services while supporting the unified provincial-level platform. We will improve incentives to encourage people to contribute more, establish and improve the mechanism for making reasonable adjustments to basic pensions, and continuously push for reform in the pension system. We will continue to improve the basic pension schemes for urban employees and for rural and urban residents, and act fast to incorporate all the pension schemes into a unified national framework and ensure that all the people can have access to elderly care.

Liu Kun:

That is my answer to your question. Just now a journalist asked about the exhibition of achievements, I also want to share my impressions after visiting the exhibition yesterday. I was very emotional when I toured the exhibition. There are indeed plenty of achievements that China has accomplished over the past 70 years and many exhibits worth seeing, such as the first tractor and the first automobile. I was extremely excited when I saw one of the models. Some journalists present were born after 1980. There is an exhibit simulating the scene of the national college entrance exam back in 1977, which made me choke up with emotions.

Yi Gang:

I sat for the exam in 1977 in the suburbs of Beijing.

Ning Jizhe:

I took the exam in Guangde, Anhui province in 1977. All three of us sat for the college entrance exam in 1977.


The ministers' introductions have made us look forward even more to visiting the exhibition. Hopefully our media friends will visit it.

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