Hong Kong Should Adopt A Universal Retirement Protection Scheme

1030 words - 5 pages

Introduction
Given the aging population, it is estimated that one-third of the citizens would be elderly by 2039. Associated with this phenomenon, it is believed that poverty would increase its severity. Concerning whether Hong Kong should adopt Universal Retirement Protection (URP) scheme, the issue has been a controversy for many years. Refer to the Five-pillar framework suggested by the World Bank (Appendix 1), the comprehensive model is believed able to deliver financial support at a relative efficient and effective manner. However it has been evaluated that Hong Kong situation is under threat while ineffective and insufficient support unable to alleviate hardship of older adults’ life. ...view middle of the document...

Loopholes of current social security schemes
Saying the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) may support people financially but it is discovered that a significant number of impoverished older adults who are eligible for the social security protection are not receiving the assistance. The major reason is strongly linked with one’s dignity. Given that when older parents need to apply for CSSA, children has to declare that they are not going to provide support to their parents for which is commonly known as “bad son statement”. Yet under the teaching of traditional values, many refused applying the assistance. It is estimated that there are approximately 163,000 elderly eligible for CSSA but refuses to do so while the labeling effect is believed acting the crucial role (Oriental Daily, 2010). Despite stigmatization, the other problem found from CSSA is the rigorous mean-test that the asset limit for a single person aged 60 or above is $39,500. Resultantly, elderly who has some burial saving reached the ceiling and being ruled out. Seniors who are not receiving CSSA may apply non-mean-tested Old Age Allowance (OAA) or mean-tested Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) for which are under the Social Security Allowance (SSA) scheme. Successful applicant would receive $1180 and $2285 respectively per month but research highlighted the amount is insufficient for a healthy elderly to maintain basic living standard given the mean of basic expenditure is $3000 (Wong, 2005).

Ineffective existence saving scheme – Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF)
Further, MPF has been implemented since the year 2000 but its effectiveness in proving financial security after retirement is still doubted. High management fee and incomprehensive coverage of population of MPF are being criticized. For the former, it is suggested that management fees should be reduced as the expenses causing the shrink of saving. Under this circumstance, it is said that employee is unlikely to receive sufficient return to cover their needs after retirement if they contributed less than 30 years (Chan, 2012). For the latter, MPF is an occupational pension plan...

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