told a state-backed labor publication.

Still, experts maintain that the cost of inaction would be too high. A 2019 report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences predicted that the country’s main pension fund would run out by 2035, in part because of the dwindling work force.

average for urban retirees. He praised the government for consistently raising pension payments over the past decade though some experts have acknowledged the strain that doing so has added to the system. “The Chinese government treats retirees very well,” he said.

But that security is unevenly distributed, and it is likely to remain so even if the government shores up its pension funds.

Mr. Meng, the urban management worker, is paid about $460 a month, one-tenth of which he pays toward pension and basic medical insurance funds. When he finally retires, he expects to draw $120 to $150 a month.

He acknowledged that it was barely enough to live on. But he said he could make it work — even if he was now increasingly unsure when the date would come.

“All I can do is hold on,” Mr. Meng said. “Keep holding on until I’ve reached the right age.”

View Source