Rural pension system gains wide approval
The establishment of a pension system in the Chinese countryside has put end to the old life style of 900 million Chinese farmers who used to be entirely dependent on their offspring after retirement, said a report in the Economic Daily.
When the Ministry of Civil Affairs set up the pension system in rural China on a trial basis in 1991, it did not draw much attention. Few people believe that Chinese famers would accept the new system.
However, when farmers began to understand what the system really meant to them, acceptance in the countryside was quick and widespread.
China’s traditional social welfare system covers only the workers in State enterprises and government department.Guanranteed welfare benefits such as job security, adequate income, and pensions apply to less than 20 per cent of the labor force, and do not reach the rural sector.
For thousands of years, Chinese farmers have retired on nothing. They have had to depend heavily on their sons and daughters both financially and emotionally in their late years. For this reason, Chinese farmers attach much importance to bearing a lot of children, for they believe the more children they have, the greater security they will enjoy.
However, the old model has not been working very well, as the values of the younger generation in the countryside have been changing in recent decades.
With less and less help coming from their children, the farmers are realizing that the rural pension is there to provide them the security and support they now need as the old system weakens.