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Comment on the strength and weakness of the social security system in Hong Kong

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Comment on the strength and weakness of the social security system in Hong Kong Introduction Although Hong Kong is a developed city in the world, there are still many people in HK living under poverty. Most of the poor are the elderly, disabled, single parent family and unemployed. Moreover, the problem is worsening because of the 150 immigrants per day from the mainland China. They cannot live on their own especially in this economic downturn. They need the help from the government to through their hard time. Social security is a form of social welfare provided by the government. It is the societal and collective measure to provide security to people of the community against certain risk in and contingencies of life (e.g. retirement, accidents, misfortune, maternity, illness, death, poverty, disability etc.) It provides both financial and psychological security to people of the community against certain risks or contingencies in life. In the financial aspect, it provides direct cash subsidy. In the psychological aspect, the money may be given to the needy through the social workers who can offer mental support for them. In this paper, I will first briefly describe the key events of development of social security in HK which is the history of the social security system. Then, I will introduce the three models of the system and the scheme under each model of it. Next, I will emphasis on the strength and weakness of the system and finally some comment and suggestions on this topic. Development Before the Second World War, Social welfare services were mainly provided by the non-government organizations and voluntary bodies, largely religious. ...read more.


This measure is not mean-tested and contributory. Another type of social security allowance is Disability Allowance. It is non-contributory and non-means tested. A certificate from a medical doctor is required for applying this allowance. The disability is further classified into two types, the normal disability and the higher disability. Normal disabled person means that he is severely disabled. Higher disabled person means that he needs to have constant medical treatment in public hospital or needs to been taken care but doesn't have this service C. Social Insurance The target group of social insurance is those who can no longer rely on full-time employment to generate the financial resources they need to live, such as the retired people. Its funding mainly comes from the contributions by employers and employees, may be the government Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) The government adopted the M.P.F. in 1995 and it was established on 1-12-2000. Members of the workforce aged between 18 and 65 and self-employed persons aged 65 or below are required to participate in and make regular contributions to registered MPF schemes. However, some employers, such as those who, at the date the relevant provision in the MPF Schemes Ordinance is implemented, have attained 64 years of age and people covered by statutory pension and provident fund schemes, for example, civil servants and teachers are exempted. Mandatory contributions are basically calculated on the basis of 10% of an employee's relevant income, with the employer and employee each paying 5%. The MPF legislation has prescribed 65 as the retirement age. Scheme members who have attained age 65 may withdraw the benefits accrued from mandatory contributions in their MPF schemes in a lump sum. ...read more.


It can be done by increasing the manpower of the Social Welfare Department. Also, our government should review the system frequently to deal with the changes of the society. We know that in HK there are more and more immigrants from the china. They usually need financial help from the government. Therefore, it is necessary to review the current system in order to suit the changes. The social insurance can be carried out to secure the future income of the elderly such as, the Old Age Pension may be reconsidered to compensate the weakness of the M.P.F of not providing support to those unemployed, housewives, low income group, can be released. This is a contributory scheme which shows respect to the elderly. The younger generation will contribute to the pension funding. This can ensure that the elderly can get a stable support and all people can be benefit when they get old and retire. Conclusion In conclusion, the strength of the social security system in Hong Kong is comprehensive, universal and flexible to meet emergency needs. Different types of scheme are launched to meet different type of needs and against different type of risks. Although the level of assistance is low compared to other foreign cities, but HK is doing quite good because of her low taxation. The Social society system in Hong Kong has strength and weakness. There are still many to improve. The government should review the schemes over times and provide the social assistance for the general public effectively and efficiently. A policy, even the most perfect one, cannot meet the needs of people of individual districts or special groups. Therefore, their needs should be observed and reviewed frequently. ...read more.

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