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Researchers: China Needs Funded Pension System

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NU Online News Service, April 19, 2004, 2:50 p.m. EDT – China will have an older population than the United States by the 2030s.[@@]

The Center for Strategic & International Studies, Washington, gives that assessment in “The Graying of the Middle Kingdom,” a new report on the effects of aggressive population growth policies in the 1950s and 1960s and aggressive population control policies in later years on China’s demographics.

The population control policies may have helped avert starvation and environmental destruction, but they will lead to a dramatic increase in the percentage of Chinese residents who are elderly, center researchers report.

In 1969, China had 6 children for every elderly resident. But, in 2029, China probably will have 2 elderly residents for every child, the researchers predict.

Only one-quarter of Chinese workers participate in formal retirement programs, the researchers add.

The researchers recommend that China set up a program to protect the elderly against poverty along with a funded pension system.

The researchers drew on funding from The Prudential Foundation, a unit of Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J.