Old farmer in Kaiping, Guangdong, May 2013. In an effort to reduce the gap between urban and rural areas and to boost consumption, China’s State Council has announced plans to create a unified pension system for residents in both urban and rural areas1. The Central Government will cover pension payouts fully in rural areas, whereas it will only pay half the pensions in the developed eastern regions. Since 2009, the Central Government ensures a monthly payment of 55 Yuan to pensioners, regardless of where they live. But this amount proves to be completely insufficient. Affluent provinces in the east have increased such payments, sometimes five-fold. After unification, the amount paid by the Central Government in western regions will also be increased. If fully implemented, this would be a major step towards dissolving the radical line that separates rural and urban China.
- Guowuyuan guanyu jianli tongyi de chengxiang jumin jiben yanglao baoxian zhidu de yijian – 国务院关于建立统一的城乡居民 基本养老保险制度的意见 – http://www.gov.cn/zwgk/2014-02/26/content_2621907.htm. Last visited February 27, 2014