The head of the Mortgage Corporation’s annuity team says the government’s scheme to provide pensioners with a guaranteed income for life has been more popular with those who are just over 65.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s deadline for subscription to the Life Annuity Scheme, Edmond Lau said the overall response to the scheme has been within expectations. This includes the fact that the scheme is more popular among those aged 65 to 70. But Lau said one subscriber is over 90 years old, RTHK reports.

Lau said take-up of the HK$10 billion quota for the annuity scheme should not be used as a yardstick to judge its success. He said the Mortgage Corporation will instead look at discussions in the community and whether general awareness of the scheme has been raised.

“The HK$10 billion subscription amount of ceiling is actually not our sales target. It’s only a ceiling reflecting our risk management concerns. So it will not be judged by whether we’ll be able to achieve that 10 billion amount,”

“I think it is more important to look at the result by way of judging the public reaction whether the first sale of the LAS has indeed aroused interests of the public about various pros and cons of the LAS and also other investment products,” he said.

Lau said the Mortgage Corporation will consider future adjustments to the scheme after analyzing the subscription data.

But he said it is unlikely that the minimum age of 65 for subscribers will be lowered in the short-term. He said the age limit was set to fill a gap in the market, and that other products are available for those under 65.

Lau also said the 4 percent rate of return is unlikely be adjusted. But he didn’t rule out the possibility of increasing the maximum amount a subscriber can invest. It is set at HK$1 million.

And for younger people who have some money to spare, Lau said, they can consider subscribing to the annuity scheme for their parents as a show of love.

Source: The Standard
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