Extend rural pension insurance

Updated: 2012-03-28 08:04

(China Daily)

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An old farmer in Zhejiang province joined the rural pension insurance program 17 years ago, now he only receives 2 yuan ($32 cents) a month as his pension. How to make the rural pension system catch up with times is a big problem, says an article in Nanfang Daily. Excerpts:

Nowadays 10 yuan can buy only three tomatoes or five cucumbers in Beijing's markets. So one cannot help asking, what can the old farmer do with his monthly pension of just 2 yuan. Shame on the local government for handing out such a small amount, which is just better than nothing.

Sadly, this is not an isolated case but one found throughout the country. Take Hainan province as an example, there are about 20,000 aged rural pensioners that receive around 20 yuan a month on average from the government. In Heilongjiang province, a quarter of its about 40,000 rural pension receivers get less than 1 yuan every month. Such payment levels are well below what is needed to provide support to pensioners.

In contrast, elderly people in rural areas who joined the new rural pension insurance program can get about 60 yuan every month. It's a fact that the base and rate of the new insurance premiums is higher than the old one, but it's still the government that is to blame and who should make efforts to correct the inadequacy of the old insurance programs, rather than leave the problem alone.

According to Premier Wen Jiabao's arrangement, the new rural pension insurance program was piloted in one-tenth of the country's counties and it will be gradually extended until full cover is achieved in 2020. To carry on the work is the only way to protect rural people's rights in their old age, and prevent the government's credit from being harmed.

(China Daily 03/28/2012 page9)