Survey Finds Vast Majority of Chinese Worried about Retirement

October 3, 2007 12:00 am Last Updated: October 3, 2007 12:00 am

According to a survey conducted by China Youth Daily's Social Survey Center and's News Center during the week of September 17, nearly 90 percent of Chinese are worried about how they will finance their retirement. More than 59 percent of the 3,871 respondents are feeling financial pressure from supporting their parents and only 20 percent think they can partially rely on the government for support.

The number of people over 60 has now reached 140 million in China, constituting 11 percent of the total population. Census data showed there were 10 million elderly living in poverty last year, with 8 million of those living in rural areas.

According to Tang Jun, secretariat of Policy Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, social service institutions for elderly people have an average vacancy of 24.4 percent, despite the fact that China lags far behind developed countries, as well as many developing countries, in the development of elderly care institutions.

“The monthly cost of 2,000 to 3000 yuan is not affordable for the average Chinese,” said Xu Zongwei, deputy director of the Policy and Rule Division of the Department of Construction Administration.

It's the citizens' right to have old-age pension; it's the responsibility of a government to provide it,” Tang Jun wrote in an article. He believes retired people have already paid their premium. He feels that if the government simply responds to social problems passively without actively taking action to improve the social welfare system, providing for the elderly will become a very costly problem in the future.