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Deficit appears early in China's pension system

Data released by China's Ministry of Finance shows a deficit in the country's pension system, and an expert has warned that the fund may run out within 10 years, China News said24 Nov 2015

The official figures show payments into the pension fund of 1.8726 trillion yuan (US$293 billion) in 2014, with payments out at 1.9045 trillion, a gap of 31.9 billion yuan ($5 billion), the news site said. 

This is the first time that expenditure has been higher than income, and has come a year earlier than expected, Chinese Academy of Social Science expert Wang Dehua told China News.

The annual balance has also been decreasing since 2013, with the pace of contraction accelerating in 2014, Wang said, according to China News.

Citing an interview with Chinese news site 21st Century Herald, China News reported that Wang said a pension deficit is inevitable with rising payments and a fast-growing elderly population. Compulsory payments by workers remain low, he said.

Under current policies, Wang estimates that finding will run out by 2024, China News said. Potential solutions include increasing worker's payments into the fund, and delaying retirement, a research team at Wang's academy said.

"We should fully understand the pressing situation and work out ways to reform the current system," Wang said, according to China News.