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Pension Reform in China: Challenges and Opportunities


Cai, Yong & Cheng, Yuan (2014). Pension Reform in China: Challenges and Opportunities. Journal of Economic Surveys, 28(4), 636-651.


China's current segmented pension system features regional imbalance, fiscal inefficiency, social inequality and economic unsustainability. It is a result of three-decade evolution guided by vague long-term objectives, constrained by economic and political circumstances and swayed by interest-group infighting. Expecting rapid population ageing and economic transformation, China aims to establish a national pension system that provides ‘wide coverage, basic security, multi-level options and sustainability’ by 2020. The paper reviews the history of China's pension system, examines proposed reform options and discusses the challenges and opportunities faced by the reform.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Economic Surveys


Cai, Yong
Cheng, Yuan