China’s National Council for Social Security Fund disclosed in its annual report that the national pension, the Social Security Fund (SSF), lost nearly 39.4 billion yuan (USD 5.75 billion) in 2008. The reason for the sharp fall was the recession in the stock market.
The bulk of the fund is being saved mainly for a time period in the near future when China’s elderly population will peak in size.
A source with the SSF, however, said that “the scale of the fund is far away from what the future elderly population will need.”
The annual report stated that due to the large drop in China’s stock market, SSF flipped from a large gain the previous year to a loss this year. The total assets of the fund fell to 562.37 billion yuan ($82 billion) from 569.24 billion yuan ($83 billion) last year. The rate of return on investment was -6.79 percent; down from 38.98 percent last year.
The report also disclosed that in the future, SSF may strengthen its private equity (PE) investments by as much as 56 billion yuan ($8.2 billion).
SSF has stated that it will take measures to adjust to the current financial crisis.