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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2010): Pensions - overseas

China's new rural pension scheme: can it be improved?

C. Shen and J.B. Williamson

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 30, 2010, p. 239-250

In 2009 China introduced a nationwide, experimental rural social pension plan. The new pension has two components, a basic pension component financed by local and central government and a personal account based on contributions from enrolled individuals. The programme is voluntary, but all rural residents aged 16 and over are being given incentives to participate. To qualify for a pension, a resident must be at least 60 (for men) or 55 (for women) and have contributed for at least 15 years. The minimum annual contribution participating workers are required to make ranges from 4 to 8 per cent of the county's average personal income during the previous year. This paper highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the new system and suggests some needed reforms, principally the addition of a universal non-contributory pillar to the system.

What are we doing with DC?

J.Ashcroft

Pensions, vol. 15, issue 2, 2010, p.82-88

This article examines the reasons behind the lag in the asset allocation approach of defined contribution (DC) pension schemes compared with defined benefit schemes. It contrasts the high volatility DC approaches in the UK with the more security-conscious approach taken in European countries.

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