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Chinese concerned about financing retirement: survey
2007-09-25 03:05:43 AFP

BEIJING, Sept 25, 2007 (AFP) - Nine out of 10 Chinese are concerned about how to finance their retirement, state media said Tuesday, highlighting challenges facing a rapidly ageing society.

A survey jointly conducted by Chinese portal Sina.com and the China Youth Daily newspaper found that almost 50 percent of the respondents said they planned to rely solely on themselves, the China Daily reported.

Despite government efforts to provide retirement benefits in cities, 60 percent said they felt under pressure to support elderly relatives, according to the survey, which covered 3,871 people.

The survey underlined the fact that many Chinese are extremely worried about their financial future and save money rather than spend it.

That results in a huge pool of savings of about two trillion dollars sitting idly in the nation's banks.

The government is struggling to tackle the problem in a bid to boost domestic consumption and adjust China's lopsided economic growth pattern, which relies heavily on export and investment.

At the end of last year, the government launched pilot programmes to provide pensions covering 53.7 million farmers in 1,905 counties, or about two-thirds of the nation's total number of counties, the China Daily said.

But the task remains tough, as the number of Chinese aged 60 or above now stands at 144 million, or 11 percent of its population, with another 100 million to be added roughly every 15 years to hit about 437 million in 2050.

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