Hong Kong should adopt a Universal Retirement Protection Scheme

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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. Reasons are given below to explain the necessity of adopting a non-mean tested URP scheme in Hong Kong for people who are aged 65 or above should be entitle to the scheme. Weakening main financial sources Given that human’s life span is significantly longer than previous decades while a salient drop of birth rate is recorded, people’s later life would tend to be more difficult as a result of lacking financial support. It is identified that 65.9% of the elderly’s income is mainly come from their children (The University of Hong Kong, 2013). However reached a record low in terms of average number of children per household in 2012, it is projected that Hong Kong people would face more financial challenge in the coming 30 years (SCMP, 2013). Some suggested that co-residence would be an alternative to provide elderly financial resources, yet the trend descends as well. Given reduced support from family and incompletion retirement protection, many considered stay in the workplace for a longer period but physical deterioration, long unemployed durat... ... middle of paper ... ...-developed city, it is suggested that Hong Kong is capable enough to take up responsibility to assist the needy. Although over the past 10 years Hong Kong’s economy had maintained positive growth, a great portion of citizens are still living underprivileged especially the elderly, one in three of them are living below the poverty line. The situation is expected to be more severe due to the aging population. Decreasing fertility weaken older people’s key financial sources, ineffective supporting schemes and the absent of long-term retirement support would worsen the situation. To conclude, the government should plug the loopholes of the current measures so as to provide security by setting up URP scheme which should be universally applicable to all Hong Kong Residents who are aged 65 or above. Hence, to alleviate their vulnerability so as to enhance dignified living.

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