Nation's Pension System Working Well

The granting of pensions to retired workers and basic allowances to laid-off workers is going on smoothly, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security announced yesterday.

According to ministry spokesman Liu Yongfu, up to 99.9 percent of laid-off workers in re-employment centers have been granted basic allowances.

A total of 50.33 billion yuan (US$6.09 billion) in pension funds have been paid out to retired workers from enterprises covered by the country's endowment insurance system.

This totals 99.8 percent of the funds that should have been paid out.

Data shows that there were in all 6.32 million laid-off workers from state-owned enterprises (SOEs) by the end of June, 91.6 percent of whom had registered in re-employment centers.

These payments are an amazing achievement considering the fact that in the past, many local governments were always behind in such payments.

However, by the second quarter of this year labor authorities in 11 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions had paid retired workers roughly 47.9 million yuan (US$5.79 million) that they had previously failed to distribute.

But in Northeast China's Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces, East China's Anhui Province and South China's Hainan Province, about 170,000 retired workers did not get their pensions on time.

In Heilongjiang and Hainan, most of the enterprises that had failed to pay the money were state-owned land reclamation enterprises.

In addition, with the ministry striving to turn subsidies and allowances into insurance schemes, unemployment insurance is playing an increasingly important role in protecting the basic living requirements of laid-off workers, the spokesman said.

By the end of June, China's unemployment insurance system covered as many as 102.51 million people, around 2.4 million of whom have received benefits.

Ministry officials yesterday also warned that the chances of laid-off workers finding re-employment might deteriorate.

In the first half of the year, 790,000 laid-off workers, or 11.1 percent of the total, had succeeded in finding new jobs.

The proportion was 4.9 percentage points less than for the same period of last year.

With an unemployed population of 6.18 million, China's present unemployment rate is 3.2 percent, 0.1 percentage points more than for the first half of last year.

(China Daily 07/28/2001)

In This Series

Lower Re-employment Rate for Laid-off Workers

China Launches Social Security Reform Package

Social Security Network Being Woven Nationwide

Pension Fund Liberalization Needed



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