China announced Monday that it will raise the basic pension payments for retirees in 2023, marking the 19th consecutive annual increase.
The average monthly payment for pensioners of enterprises, government agencies and public institutions is set to be lifted by 3.8 percent from the 2022 level, according to a circular jointly issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the Ministry of Finance.
Last year, China raised the basic pension payments for retirees by 4 percent from the level of the previous year.
China has expedited its efforts to mobilize more resources to cope with an aging society. Official data shows that by the end of 2022, the number of Chinese people aged 60 or above had surpassed 280 million, accounting for 19.8 percent of the country's total population, while the percentage stands at 8.87 percent in 2010.
The country has recently released a set of guidelines to facilitate the building of a "basic elderly care system" amid efforts to pursue a proactive national strategy regarding population aging and ensure equitable access to public services.
According to the guidelines, released jointly by the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council General Office, basic elderly care services consist of material assistance, nursing, and caregiving services, among others. They are provided directly by the government or by parties supported by the government.
The guidelines noted that the system should follow the principles of meeting essential needs and be universally accessible. In the meantime, the system should also allow families with financial difficulties to be supported in elderly care and ensure all institutional resources regarding elderly care are optimized and integrated.
The guidelines listed five key aspects where more work should be done. They include forming and implementing a list of elderly care services, establishing an active response mechanism for providing accurate services, enhancing the mechanism that ensures sound elderly care services, improving service capacity, and making such services more accessible.
(With input from Xinhua)