The total population covered by pension insurance reached 189.63 million in China by the end of March, an increase of 1.97 million over the end of 2006, according to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLSS).
A total of 136 billion yuan (US$17.7 billion) was delivered to the retirees in full amount in the January-to-March period, Yin Chengji, spokesman for the MLSS, said on Wednesday.
The population coverage of medical insurance, work injury insurance and childbearing insurance also expanded to 162.09 million, 104.07 million and 66.32 million people respectively by the end of March. A notable 26.8 million migrant workers, though only 13.4 percent of the country's total, were covered by work injury insurance.
Correspondingly, the country recorded 152.5 billion yuan of revenue from pension insurance in the first three months, up 29.6 percent over the same period last year, and 44.9 billion yuan from medical insurance, an increase of 18.6 percent.
China paid more than 500 billion yuan of pension allowance to 46 million retirees last year.
The country had nearly 144 million people aged over 60 in 2005, accounting for 11 percent of its population. The figure is expected to hit 400 million, or 30 percent of the total population, by 2050.
The Chinese government would continue to ensure the full funding of pension accounts for duly payout of the pension allowance to retirees this year, Yin said.
(Xinhua News Agency April 26, 2007)