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HK to launch life annuity to boost 'multi-pillar' retirement protection system

(Xinhua)    20:18, April 11, 2017

HONG KONG, April 11 -- China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is to launch a 10 billion HK dollars (1.28 billion U.S. dollars) public annuity scheme under which retirees can invest a lump sum in exchange for a guaranteed monthly income until death, a measure supposed to boost Hong Kong's multi-pillar retirement protection system.

"Hong Kong adopts a multi-pillar retirement protection system. The proposed annuity scheme will strengthen one of the pillars in terms of voluntary savings," Stephen Sui, secretary for labour and welfare of the Hong Kong SAR government, said Tuesday.

The new life annuity scheme, designed by the government-owned Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation (HKMC), is expected to be launched in the middle of next year.

Under this scheme, people aged 65 and above will be allowed to invest between 50,000 and 1 million HK dollars in a lump sum and get immediate lifetime payouts. According to the preliminary estimation of HKMC, the annuity rates will range from 5.4 percent to 7 percent, depending on gender.

"Due to the rapidly ageing population of Hong Kong, enhancing the quality of living of the elderly after their retirement is one of the key policy focuses of the government," HKMC Chairman and HKSAR Financial Secretary Paul Chan said Monday when announcing the scheme.

Chan added that the scheme, which was meant to meet "the elderly's increasing demand for retirement financial planning support", will provide "an additional financial planning option to the elderly, to help them turn cash lump sums into lifelong streams of fixed monthly income, so that they can better enjoy the rest of their lives."

HKSAR Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told media Tuesday that the government has conducted an initial public assessment on the plan and has received a satisfactory response.

The scheme will be extended if it receives a positive public response after its launch next year, Leung said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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