Exploring common prosperity in China, this study focuses on the impact of social pension insurance on the well-being of rural communities. It explores the direct beneficiaries and policy effects of the Rural Social Pension Insurance system (RSPI), which was piloted in 2009 and achieved full coverage in 2012. It summarizes the performance and implementation of social pension insurance and the development of the rural social pension system.
The article uses microdata from the four most recent periods of China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), which were undertaken in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018, and uses the Order Probit model to analyze the effects of participating in insurance on rural residents in terms of their subjective well-being. The study identifies diverse effects on farmers from different age groups, genders, and regions, with a focus on subjective well-being. The article also tests the mediating effects of health status and self-rated social status on farmers’ subjective well-being and their mechanisms of action.
Findings reveal that participating in the insurance system significantly improved the subjective well-being of rural residents. Its biggest beneficiaries were groups of rural residents with poor health status, living in good overall conditions. Taking into account the most recent aims of this policy, to promote rural revitalization and common prosperity, further optimization of the rural pension insurance system should improve the living standards of low-income groups, enabling more comprehensive coverage, and potentially helping to mitigate the risk of returning to poverty due to illness.
Developments in basic social security and the rural basic pension system could effectively guarantee the basic standards of living of rural residents. Future development of the system should take into account the heterogeneous characteristics of rural residents and implement social pension protection policies in accordance with local conditions.