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China’s pension funds see steady growth in Q1

Updated: Apr 26,2017 7:31 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s pension funds continued to grow in the first quarter this year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said on April 25.

The gross revenue of pension funds totaled 970.8 billion yuan ($141 billion) in the first quarter with gross expenditures at 808.5 billion yuan, said the ministry.

The figures represented a year-on-year increase of 25.4 percent and 22.9 percent, respectively. The pension funds’ account balance stood at over 4 trillion yuan at the end of March.

The ministry said that pension funds have been managed more effectively during the first quarter, with supervision in place to contain risks and ensure stable development.

China is home to more than 220 million people over the age of 60, or 16.1 percent of the population, and the numbers are growing.

As the population ages, China is trying to increase the value of its locally managed pension funds to cope with the needs of its aging population.

Pensions are traditionally held by banks or used to purchase treasury bills. They are now allowed to be invested in a variety of financial products, including bonds and stocks.

Since the end of 2016, seven provincial-level regions have entrusted their pensions to the National Council for Social Security Fund (NCSSF) in the hope of more diverse and higher returns.

A total of 360 billion yuan is being transferred from bank accounts across the country, operated by local authorities, to the NCSSF for investment.

The government has set a 30-percent limit on the proportion of pension funds tied up in stocks.

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