China's agenda for an old-age insurance program in rural areas.
Based on a field study conducted in August 1993 by the author, this article discusses the experimental program of old-age insurance in rural areas of China. The achievements made so far, the feasibility of old-age insurance in rural areas, and the problems encountered by the program are discussed. Policy recommendations regarding maintenance of the value of the premium, legislation, management of the program, and continuation of the family support system are proposed. It is emphasized that China urgently needs to establish a universal old-age insurance program and other social support services for the elderly. This would be akin to building a new Great Wall to help solve the serious problems of aging, reverse the trend of a high male-to-female sex ratio at birth, and further reduce fertility levels in less developed rural areas.
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