Subscription forms for Hong Kong’s first public annuity scheme were released through banks today, RTHK reports.

About 20 elderly people queued outside a branch of HSBC in Mong Kok before it opened for the day. The forms are being made available through 700 branches of some 20 banks.

The Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Annuity unveiled the plan last week for residents aged 65 and above to invest up to a million dollars in exchange for monthly payments.

An elderly citizen at the Mong Kok bank said he would like to invest HK$200,000 to HK$300,000, but he noted the monthly payment he would get in return would not be enough to cover his expenses. He said he is only treating the annuity scheme as a type of investment.

Another elderly resident said the rate of return was quite good, but he was worried he may lose money if he dies within the guarantee period.

Some people in the queue said they would like to subscribe to the scheme for their parents.

The head of the HKMC Annuity, Edmond Lau, said he expected the agency to roll out the annuity schemes every year. He told RTHK’s Candice Wong that there will be a continuing demand for annuity schemes, in view of Hong Kong’s ageing population.

“This is a long-term plan in order to meet the retirement needs of Hong Kong people. We have right now over 1.3 million people aged 65 and above. But afterwards, we’ll have over 100,000 people stepping into the age of 65 each year. So we believe there’s a continuing demand for this kind of product,” he said.

Source: The Standard
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