Surpluses in China's five major social security insurance schemes --namely pensions, medical, unemployment, work injury and maternity -- have steadily grown in recent years despite increasing expenditures, says Mr You Jun, Vice Minister of Human Resources and Social Security.
Total surpluses reached CNY7.6 trillion (US$1.2 trillion) last year, compared with CNY6.6 trillion in 2016, reported China Daily citing Mr You.
But the rapid rate at which the average age is growing poses major challenges to the sustainable development of the country's insurance system, he said. Although the social security fund in general is stable, deficits exist in certain places.
The total surplus in the basic pension scheme reached CNY4.12 trillion at the end of last year, enough for payments of pensions to retirees for 17.3 months, he said.
Pension fund surpluses in 2016 in 13 provincial regions, including Jiangxi, Hainan and Hubei provinces, were not enough to sustain payments for one year, because expenditures were growing faster than income, says the Ministry.
The number of people aged 60 or above on the Chinese mainland reached 241 million at the end of last year, accounting for 17.3% of the total population, compared with 16.7% at end-2016, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.