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Policy Address

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.



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