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Budget Speech

Retirement Protection

143.    Government has, since the 1960s, been studying different forms of retirement protection, on which there have been wide discussions and diverse views in the community.  The Commission on Poverty will consult the public again on retirement protection in the latter half of this year.

144.    The sustainability of retirement protection must be a prime concern. "Pay-as-you-go" retirement protection means that the contributions from today's employees and employers are used to pay the pensions of retirees of the previous generation.  In other words, funding for retirement protection for people in this generation is to be borne by the next generation.

145.    Overseas experiences suggest that, as population ages, the proportion of dependants to the working population increases, retirement protection on a "pay-as-you-go" basis eventually becomes unsustainable.  There would either be less protection for the dependent population or heavier burden on the working population.  We should consider carefully the consequences of this scenario when we discuss retirement protection.

146.    Irrespective of the community's choice for the way forward on this issue, the community's consensus is to provide better retirement protection for the elderly in need.  I shall set aside $50 billion for this purpose.



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