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Why China's elderly farmers can't afford to retire

Before China introduced its new rural pension system in 2009, most farmers could not afford the cost of joining a pension system or buying commercial pension insurance. Under the current scheme, farmers who are above age 60 qualify even if they have never paid into the system. But despite 11 years of work to roll out the policy, including offers of government aid, most elderly farmers in the country say they still cannot afford to retire. The South China Morning Post talked to some older people…