Professor Zheng Gongcheng, a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), wrote in the Guangming Ribao (November 23) that it is expected that by 2035, China will be considered a “super-aged society.” The average annual increase in the elderly population is about 10 million, and the total will reach about 400 million by then. The number of the elderly population, that is, those over 80 years old, will increase by more than 1 million annually. He anticipated that China's pension fund might be unable to meet its liabilities in the next ten years. Separately, Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA) reported (November 20) that, according to a report of the IAC (The Insurance Association of China) China’s pension fund’s financial gap has widened. In the next five to ten years, the IAC expects that the financial gap for the Chinese pension fund will reach RMB eight to ten trillion yuan (around US$1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion), and it won’t stop there. In the past few years, the Chinese pension gap has been a major concern among China’s elderly and even among middle-aged people. After 40 years of the birth control policy, the Chinese society is now aging very quickly. Those who pay into Social security are decreasing while the number of those receiving pensions is on the rise. The current Chinese pension system depends on social security, employers and personal funds. However, the system is not mature and lacks a managed investment market that is deep enough. 

(Comment: A separate analysis states that over the next 15 years, while China’s population will grow by an estimated 1.5 per cent, its working population will decline by an astonishing 6.8 per cent and will continue to decline for the rest of the century. To put it in context, while today there are 4.7 Chinese of working age for every equivalent American, by the end of the century there will be only 2.4. This analysis suggests a decline in productivity which, unless it is reduced by nearly two-thirds, will prevent China from doubling GDP by 2035.)

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