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Pension Insurance Encouraged

China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), the industry watchdog, is encouraging the establishment of pension insurance companies to make the service more professional.

"Insurance companies should grasp the God-given opportunities to develop the commercial pension insurance," Wu Dingfu, president of CIRC, said during a pension seminar on Friday.

Wu's comments came as China is trying to improve its social security system.

At the moment, Pacific Pension Insurance Co and Ping An Pension Insurance Co received the green light from the CIRC to set up businesses. They are expected to start operating next year.

China Life Insurance Co, the nation's biggest life insurer, also plans to run a pension insurance company with its parent business and investors. It is in the process of getting approval from regulators before it applies for a trustee license.

Wei Yingning, vice-president of CIRC, said insurance companies have a big role to play in pension fund management.

"Insurance companies have rich experiences in assets-liabilities management and boast solid actuarial techniques, which ensure a comparatively safe capital management," said Wei.

Wei's viewpoint is echoed by Wang Guojun, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics.

"Different from other investments, safety is the primary concern when managing the pension fund," Wang said.

(China Daily September 3, 2005)

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