Just 9,000 retirees sign up for annuity plan, subscriptions below HK$5b

Local | 10 Aug 2018 4:31 pm

There were few takers for the Hong Kong government's much-touted annuity plan, the long-term insurance product pitched for retirees, the level of subscriptions reveal.

Just 9,140 people registered their desire for enrollment by putting in an average of HK$525,000, the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation's HKMC Annuity, which manages the annuity plan, announced today. Most applicants – 5,827 of them – are between the ages of 65 and 69 years and 23 percent, or 2,160 registrations came from those aged from 70 to 74 years. Only about 15 percent, or 1,423 are 75 years or older.

The total subscription of HK$4.94 billion fell far below expectations. The plan, launched on July 5, set a HK$10 billion limit for the first tranche.

Officials said at the time, it could even be raised to HK$20 billion.

Edmond Lau Ying-pan, HKMCA executive director and chief executive, said however, the corporation is "satisfied with the overall outcome.''

"As life annuities are relatively new long-term insurance products, the public will require more time to comprehend the concepts and features,'' he said.

About 30 percent, or 2,854 of the applicants registered their intention to subscribe for HK$1 million.

About 54 percent, or 5,126 of the applicants planned to subscribe for HK$500,000 or more.

Lau had said in early August that the HK$10 billion 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 amount.''

In early July, the government said it is prepared to double the quota in the first stage to HK$20 billion if the plan was over-subscribed.

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