Monday, October 15, 2012

Chinese Premier wants more Social Pensions for Ctizens

The Chinese newspaper, Global Times, reports on October 15, 2012, that Premier Wen Jiabao has urged the government to step up its funding of social pensions for Chinese citizens. But what is a "social pension?"

It's any government-sponsored program with the following four characteristics: (1) laws or statutes that define the benefits, eligibility requirements and other features; (2) explicit provision is made to account for the income and expenses (often through a trust fund) of the program; (3) participants pay taxes or premiums to fund the program; it serves a defined population, and participation is either compulsory or the program is heavily enough subsidized that most eligible persons decide to participate.  In the US, social pensions include Social Security, Medicare, the Railroad Retirement program,and state-sponsored unemployent insurance programs, and others.

Do you have a social insurance program in your country?  If not, start campaigning today to get one.  Many NGOs that work alongside older people are demanding social pensions to insure that everyone in the country has a pension and other support when they need it.  Also, social pensions will be a key feature in any Human Rights Convention (treaty) that the UN drafts in the weeks and years ahead. 

Tell us your situation. Do you have a social pension now? Will you have one in the future?
Have a good week, Susanne Paul for Global Action on Aging

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