Does the New Rural Pension Scheme improve residents' livelihoods? Empirical evidence from Northwestern China.
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The sustainable development of pension systems has been investigated from a financial perspective worldwide. However, the pension adequacy and its effect on the sustainability of a national pension system are still understudied. Using actual replacement rate and modified living standards replacement rate, this study empirically evaluates whether China's New Rural Pension Scheme (NRPS) grants enough livelihood protection for the rural residents in the Northwestern China. The results show that the NRPS fails to meet the basic needs of the elderly people (i.e., age of sixty years or older) or the middle-aged people (forty-five to fifty-nine years old), while it only provides limited protection for the young people (sixteen to forty-four years old). These findings suggest that the current NRPS benefits are very low in the Northwestern China and policy reforms should be further implemented to improve the sustainable development of the New Rural Pension Scheme.