BEIJING — China will raise the basic pension in 2019, the 15th straight year it had done so, to strengthen people’s sense of fulfillment and happiness, an Economic Daily report said on March 21.
Starting from the beginning of this year, the average monthly payment for retirees from enterprises, government agencies and public institutions was lifted by 5 percent from 2018 levels, according to a circular jointly issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the Ministry of Finance.
The State Council, China’s cabinet, decided to maintain a 5-percent pension rise this year, given that both the average salary increase and the consumer price rise were stable in 2018, said Jin Weigang, head of Chinese Academy of Labor and Social Security.
The increase, set to benefit 118 million retirees across China, was equivalent with the rise rate in 2018.
However, the rise rate this year was lower than the 5.5-percent increase in 2017, due to moderating economic growth and a rapidly aging society, which result in a heavier burden on the pension funds.
A slower rise rate is conducive to the pensions’ sustainable development, Jin said.
China raised pensions by at least 10 percent annually during the 2005-2015 period before the pace slackened in 2016.
From 2005 to 2016, the average monthly pension payment for enterprise retirees went up to 2,400 yuan (about $350) from around 640 yuan, official data showed.
The government estimates that the number of people aged over 60 in China will reach 255 million, 17.8 percent of the country’s total population, by 2020.