China has raised the minimum standard of basic pensions for rural residents and unemployed urbanites, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
The standard was increased to 88 yuan (about 14 U.S. dollars) per person per month from the previous level of 70 yuan, effective on Jan. 1, 2018, the ministry said in a statement.
The adjustment was made in line with income growth, inflation and changes of basic pensions for urban employees, the statement said, quoting a ministry official.
The central government will fully fund the upward adjustment in the mid-west regions and cover half of the expenditure for the raise in the more developed eastern areas.
By the end of 2017, 513 million rural residents and unemployed urban dwellers were covered by the basic pension scheme, with a monthly average payment per person of 125 yuan, according to the statement.
China had seperate pension schemes for rural residents and unemployed urbanites until 2014 when the two schemes were unified as part of efforts to bridge the rural-urban wealth gap.