Optimising the Multi-tiered Social Security Pillar
193. The OALA was implemented shortly after I assumed
office. It now benefits more than 440 000 elderly persons, or
around 37% of the elderly population. To strengthen the support
of this social security pillar for elderly persons, the Government
will enhance the OALA through two measures. First, we will
add a higher tier of assistance by providing a higher monthly
allowance of $3,435 per person, or about one-third higher than
the existing rate, for elderly persons with more financial needs
who are eligible for the allowance, i.e. elderly singletons with
assets not exceeding $144,000 or elderly couples with assets not
more than $218,000. Second, we will relax the asset limits for the
existing allowance, from $225,000 (with effect from 1 February
2017) to $329,000 for elderly singletons and from $341,000 (with
effect from 1 February 2017) to $499,000 for elderly couples, to
benefit more elderly persons with financial needs. Around
500 000 elderly persons will benefit from the two measures in the
first year, and the coverage of OALA will increase to 47%.
Counting in the CSSA as well as the non-means-tested OAA and
DA, the social security pillar will in the first year cover nearly
910 000 or 74% of elderly persons.
194. While maintaining the requirement that applicants under
the CSSA Scheme must apply on a household basis, we will
abolish the arrangement for the relatives concerned to make a
declaration on whether they provide the elderly persons who
apply for CSSA on their own (e.g. an elderly person who does not
live with his/her children) with financial support (the so-called
“bad son statement”). Only the elderly applicants will be
required to submit information. Moreover, the eligible age for
elderly CSSA will be raised from 60 to 65 to align with the
direction of our population policy to extend retirement age.
Elderly persons aged between 60 and 64 who are receiving CSSA
before the new policy takes effect will not be affected.