China elderly
An elderly yawns as he sits on a baby pram in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China, September 6, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha)

The Chinese Ministry of Finance is stepping up efforts in improving the country's pension system by accelerating the transfer of government shares in state-run companies. The shares will be transferred to the social security fund to help accommodate the needs of citizens.

According to China Daily, the ministry is expecting to inject a total of 600 billion yuan in shares to the National Council for Social Security Fund. The shares will be collected from China's biggest insurance group and three state-owned financial institutions.

As of September, the ministry already transferred shares amounting to 150 billion yuan to the social security system. The transfer process is being ramped up in a bid to improve the social security offerings for Chinese citizens.

The finance ministry is currently working on management rules for the assets that should help improve the country's overall pension system. Government departments are involved in the management rules development.

As of late September, two commercial banks already confirmed some transferred assets. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China confirmed that the ministry transferred 10 percent of its shares to the social security fund.

Head of the Research Bureau of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), Wang Xin, noted that the transfer of shares is a key step towards coping with the risk of potential pension fund shortage in the country as an aging society in China rises up.

Wang added that transferring shareholdings is just the first step towards achieving a better environment for people who trust the country's social security system.

Aside from the share transfers that will keep being carried out over the coming weeks, the ministry also unveiled a new platform where people can process their data easily and without fears of hacking.

In mid-September, the government announced that a national online platform for social security services has gone live. The platform, si.12333.gov.cn, has 18 unified national services for people who are insured in eight categories.

Facial recognition will be used for applicants who want to establish a pension fund for when they are older and can no longer work. The new platform goes hand-in-hand with the target to hand out electronic social security cards to everyone with insurance in the near future.

The e-cards, which are already being used by some insured individuals, are available for accessing information records and can also serve as a form of an identification card for settling financial transactions or medical insurance claims.

China has been working to improve its social security system for its aging citizens, as well as women, in a bid to encourage non-insured citizens to secure their pension funds as early as possible.