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China's 228m retirees set to drain economy and social safety net

Lacking options, government eyes broadly unpopular increase in eligibility age

A growing number of seniors and a shrinking working-age population have raised worries about the sustainability of China's pension system.   © Reuters

BEIJING/SHANGHAI -- China, one of the world's fastest-aging societies, is bracing for a massive wave of retirements in the coming decade that has both the government and the public worried about their financial futures.

Li Li (not her real name), a 25-year-old employee at an information technology company in Wuhan, and her husband are starting to stash away 10,000 yuan ($1,450) a year to prepare for their retirement. The savings amount to 5% of their annual income -- not a small sum considering the burden of taxes and mortgage payments.

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