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China raises pensions for veterans, bereaved families
Updated: 2008-10-23 07:35
JINAN -- China is raising its pensions for family members of fallen soldiers, disabled servicemen and veterans of the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army.

It was revealed at a meeting held here by the Ministries of Civil Affairs and Finance on Wednesday, for which the central government would increase the distribution in its annual budget of 2.68 billion yuan (about $383 million).

China currently has 890,000 disabled servicemen, 500,000 family members of fallen soldiers and about 55,000 veterans of the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army.

For the disabled, including soldiers, police, civil servants and migrant workers, their pensions will be raised 20 percent from previously. A disabled serviceman will now receive an annual pension of 22,680 yuan.

For family members of fallen soldiers and veterans of the Red Army (the military forces of the Communist Party of China 1927-1937), their pensions will increase 15 percent.

According to the new standard, the annual pension for each person of the families living in urban areas will be raised to 6,900 yuan. In rural areas, the family members will receive 4,140 yuan.

The pensions of the CPC's Red Army veterans will be raised to 15,720 yuan annually, 14 percent more than the average amount of the annual disposable income for the country's urban residents.

According to Sun Shaocheng, the Civil Affairs Ministry director, the government will also increase the annual subsidy to about 2 million common veterans by 360 yuan per capita.

In order to make sure that the pension will be available in time to each right person and to avoid any possible corruption, the two ministries decided to stop commissioning local governments for the pension's distribution. Instead, they will give the pensions directly to the people through banks from 2009.