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January 28, 2010

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700 falsify records for pension

MORE than 700 people faked their personal records to qualify for a special pension, the Heilongjiang Province Forestry Industry Bureau in northeast China found after reviewing applications.

The bureau made the disclosure while dismissing an earlier media report that up to 95 percent of the 38,000 applicants for the program had cheated in their qualification by faking or buying fake documents, yesterday's People's Daily reported.

The bureau started the pension last March for its laid-off workers with more than 10 years' service who were sent there from their home cities between 1966 and 1978 during the cultural revolution (1966-1976).

By paying some thousand yuan, the workers can get a monthly pension of 800 yuan (US$117) after reaching age 60, compared with 600 to 700 yuan that ordinary workers now working at the bureau get as salary.

The program attracted many people, including those who had never worked on the farms.

Since not all the personnel archives were well preserved, many workers had to report their citizenship, education and working histories by themselves, said Jiang Hongwei, director of the bureau's labor and social security unit.

The bureau reviewed the applications and so far has found that more than 700 applicants had faked their qualifications, he said.

But he denied that mass cheating occurred.

Yet according to an earlier report by China Youth Daily, most of the applicants were fake.

In the bureau's Yingchun unit alone, 177 of the 200 finalists were disqualified, 67-year-old worker Zheng Lianyu told the newspaper.

For example, Han Shufang, born in November 1964, was on record as starting work in October 1977, meaning she worked at age 13.

Normally, a middle school student graduates at age 15 in China.

China Youth Daily quoted data from the chief bureau as saying there are 38,000 qualified applicants in the bureau.

But according to Bi Changhong, director of Heilongjiang Province Personnel and Social Security Bureau, there could not possibly be so many "Educated Youth" applicants on the farms, because most of the youths would have already moved out and returned to their homes in other provinces.

The "Educated Youths," or known as zhiqing in Chinese, were sent to the countryside to work during the cultural revolution after graduating from middle schools and high schools. Around 17 million young Chinese were involved nationwide.


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