Date
21 August 2017
The study says the Hong Kong government can afford to give senior citizens a monthly pension. Photo: HKEJ
The study says the Hong Kong government can afford to give senior citizens a monthly pension. Photo: HKEJ

Hong Kong govt urged to seed pension scheme with HK$50 bln

People aged 65 and over can collect a monthly pension of HK$3,000 (US$387) if the government puts up HK$50 billion for a start, RTHK reported Wednesday, citing a University of Hong Kong survey.

The Hong Kong government should grant the seniors the monthly pension without a means test, said the study on retirement protection schemes led by University of Hong Kong academic Nelson Chow Wing-sun.

The Commission on Poverty suggested three parties — employers, employees and the government — should contribute to sustain a universal retirement scheme, according to Chua Hoi-wai, a member of the commission, which ordered the study.

“If the government injects HK$50 billion as the seed fund, and redirect existing fruit allowance, old age living allowance and comprehensive social security assistance into the fund, the government won’t need to make additional contribution and won’t have any fiscal pressure,” he said.

Employers can afford additional payments to a retirement scheme as the government levy a relatively low profit tax rate right now, he said.

“We hope citizens would realize the importance of a universal pension scheme. Many employees do not have sufficient savings for retirement,” he said.

Shirley Yuen, chief executive of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, said the government should be responsible for funding such schemes.

The chamber said it opposes any retirement protection scheme that would require employers to inject money, according to media reports.

Related story:

HKGCC: Universal pension a form of hidden tax

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JZ/JP/JL

Freelance journalist

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