BEIJING - China's urban and rural senior citizens will all enjoy pension insurance by 2015, according to a statement issued Wednesday after an executive meeting of the State Council, or the Cabinet.
The meeting, which was presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao, discussed and endorsed the nation's 12th Five-Year (2011-2015) Program on senior citizens' development.
During the five-year period, China's population aged over 60 will increase from the current 178 million to 221 million, which will lift their proportion in the entire population from 13.3 percent to 16 percent, the statement noted.
Aside from providing pension insurance, the government will move to make elderly care services available throughout the country.
More investment will be put into improving accessibility, cultural and entertainment facilities for elderly.
China launched a pilot pension program for its 800 million-strong rural population in August 2009, as part of efforts to narrow the standard-of-living gap between rural and urban residents.
A total of 199 million Chinese rural residents had joined the country's rural pension insurance program by the end of June, an official of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) said late July.
Farmers over 60 will receive a monthly endowment of varying amounts set according to their area's standard income level after paying a fee to join the program.
The meeting also reviewed the development of social insurance development, as its total revenue hit 1.71 trillion yuan ($266.7 billion) in 2010, an increase of 16 percent from a year ago. The expense totaled 1.33 trillion yuan, up 21 percent year-on-year.
The accumulated balance stood at 2.14 trillion yuan by the end of last year, nearly quadruple that of five years ago.
The social insurance system is a crucial part of the country's social security net, which encompasses the old-age pension, basic medical care insurance, work-related injury insurance, unemployment insurance as well as maternity allowances.
Registered participants in pension insurance programs have risen significantly over the past five years. The monthly pension for the retirees of the business enterprises increased to 1,362 yuan from 649 yuan in 2005, according to the statement.
The meeting urged local authorities to strengthen management of the social security fund and step up the transparency of its use. Safety should be the top priority in social insurance fund's investment, it said.