Investment from China’s basic pension funds yields about $1.26 billion in 2017

By People’s Daily

China had seen a rate of return on investment of 5.23 percent from its investment of basic pension funds in 2017, and earned an income of about 8.78 billion yuan (about $1.26 billion), the China Securities Journal reported on Monday.

Seniors practice Yoga in Haikou, Hainan province. (Hainan Daily/Zhang Jie)

Investments by pension funds had yielded an accumulative total of 8.82 billion yuan by the end of 2017. The country started to use its basic pension funds for investment in December 2016, according to China’s National Council for Social Security Fund (NCSSF).

By the end of 2017, nine provincial-level regions including Beijing, Henan Province and Shanxi Province had signed contracts with the NCSSF, entrusting a total of 430 billion yuan of basic pension funds for investment.

China’s basic pension funds totaled about 315.5 billion yuan by the end of 2017, among which 29.62 percent of the funds were used for direct investment, while 70.38 percent were entrusted for investment.

According to Lu Aihong, spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, by this September, China had seen 15 provincial-level regions entrust basic pension funds to the NCSSF for investment, with a contract value amounting to 715 billion yuan.

The funds entrusted to the NCSSF have been used for direct investment and entrusted investment, said an executive of the NCSSF, explaining that direct investment mainly comprises bank deposit and equity investment handled directly by the NCSSF, while entrusted investment is run by investment managers entrusted by the NCSSF and usually consists of investment in such areas as domestic stocks, bonds, stock index futures, and treasury bond futures.

“The present market-oriented investment of pension funds in China has shown a tendency for short-term products, both in assessment and investment concepts, which is not good for the preservation and appreciation of funds,” said Dong Keyong, secretary-general of the China Aging Finance Forum, suggesting that the country should seek long-term investment via innovation of financial products for old-age care management and pension funds.

China should gradually allow pension funds to be invested in ports and encourage the research and development of various types of financial products for pension funds such as asset securitization products and real restate investment trusts when conditions permit, said Feng Liying, president of CCB Pension Management Company, China’s first professional pension management company.

Feng also advised that relevant organizations should create more diversified financial products for pension funds, so as to attract customers of different ages and preferences.