Date
16 December 2017
Hong Kong retirees and their supporters demonstrate last year, demanding a universal pension fund. Photo: HKEJ
Hong Kong retirees and their supporters demonstrate last year, demanding a universal pension fund. Photo: HKEJ

Govt to set aside HK$50 bln for retirement security

The Hong Kong government will set aside HK$50 billion to launch a retirement security program, Singtao Daily reported Wednesday, citing an unnamed source.

The plan will be announced in Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s policy address Wednesday, the newspaper said.

The Commission on Poverty, chaired by Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, will undertake a public consultation on the program’s details in the second half of the year.

The program is not expected to cover all retirees but will only provide an extra safety net to those with low incomes, the source said.

Nelson Chow Wing-sun, a professor of social work and social administration at the University of Hong Kong, was quoted as saying the government may set an eligibility threshold for the assets of retirees who wish to take part in the program.

Chow expects the plan to be finalized within Leung’s tenure and handed over to the next administration for implementation.

In June last year, Chow submitted a report to the poverty commission recommending a fund of HK$50 billion that would grant HK$3,000 a month to all Hongkongers aged 65 and over. The grants would be funded by a payroll tax of up to 2.5 percent.

Social work veteran Ho Hei-wah, also a member of the Commission on Poverty, proposed that the government set a loose standard for the scrutiny of assets, so as to benefit more retirees.

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