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New Pension Scheme Covers 130 Mln Rural Residents

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A government-subsidized pension scheme has been extended to cover 130 million rural Chinese in 320 counties nationwide since it was initiated in August last year.

"Under the new rural pension scheme, rural residents will enjoy basic social security like urban residents do," said Yin Weimin, Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, Thursday.

The New Rural Old-Age Insurance Scheme differs from the previous one in that the government will, for the first time, give a basic monthly payment of 55 yuan (US$8) to rural residents over the age of 60 in addition to pension payments from their personal contributions.

Last year, the government spent 290.6 billion yuan maintaining the social security system, a year-on-year increase of 16.6 percent, Yin said in a keynote speech at the opening of the fifth APEC Human Resources Development Ministerial Meeting.

The basic pension benefit for company retirees in urban areas increased by an average 10 percent this year, and health insurance coverage extended to more than 1.2 billion people, he said.

"We will put in place a social security system covering both urban and rural residents by 2020," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency September 16, 2010)

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