China’s pension fund continued to face a shortfall in the individual accounts as of the end of 2012, China Business News reported Wednesday, citing the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. The cumulative balance of the country’s pension funds totaled 2.3 trillion yuan (US$375.2 billion) by the end of 2012, up 13 times the level in 2003, but it still couldn’t make up for the huge deficit in personal accounts, the paper said. Part of the deficit stems from timing, because China’s public-pension system is relatively young, and major reforms in community pension funds did not occur until 1997, the report noted. Many recent retirees are receiving full retirement benefits despite not paying into the funds until recently. To finance the pensions, government officials have had to dip into the individual retirement accounts of people currently working in China.
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