In the ninth part of the Rural China series, China Daily reporter D J Clark visits villagers in Gansu province to investigate how the new rural pension scheme is being received.

A total of 199 million Chinese rural residents had joined the country's rural pension insurance program by the middle of last year according the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. The small statutory payment varies from province to province and can be topped up by paying higher rates into the scheme during their working years. The basic pension, although small, is a first step at providing cover to all rural residents after they reach 60, reducing their dependency on their families to support them.

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