The Mandatory Provident Fund regime has been in place for five years but is not enough to meet most citizens' financial needs in retirement. Hong Kong's ageing population requires a balanced retirement system, for the future wellbeing of its citizens and the territory's financial resources. We invite participants to propose what policy initiatives and amendments will best realize this goal.

All submissions will be reviewed by a judging panel on a blind basis, with Cynthia Chung, Honorary Legal Advisor, Hong Kong Retirement Schemes Association (HKRSA) administrating the competition and ensuring anonymity for all submissions and impartiality among the judges. The judges are Anthony Griffiths, Provident Funds Trustee; Peter Wong, HKRSA; and Jame DiBiasio and Jonathan Watkin, AsianInvestor.

All submissions must be made to Ms. Chung by March 20, 2006. Address entries to her at [email protected] or in person to the Office of HKRSA (2202, Lippo Tower 11, Queensway) under the subject heading "AsianInvestor Competition". The winner will be announced at AsianInvestor's annual Achievement Awards dinner on Friday, May 19. AsianInvestor will endorse the winning proposal, publish it in our June edition and disseminate it among key Hong Kong policymakers and media.

The judges welcome proposals that are simple to understand and implement, and will have a substantive impact. Lateral thinking is welcome. Proposals should:

  • Address the aging issue and the World Bank's multi-pillar recommendation
  • Reduce complexity
  • Help to build an adequate and sustainable retirement income
  • Promote confidence in retirement savings, and promote incentives to save
  • Increase universal savings
  • Be equitable
  • Be cost-effective (and realistic) from a government's perspective
  • Be cost-effective for retirement schemes and funds to implement and run, and
  • Be accountable and secure from a regulator's (and consumer's) perspective
Submissions should include a cover letter identifying the individual or organization to Deacons, but the body of the proposal must not have any logos or other references revealing the identity to the judges. Submissions should not exceed 3,000 words. Additional material (promotional material, CVs, etc) will be ignored. There is no entry fee, but only one entry is allowed per individual or organization. AsianInvestor may use or reproduce all or part of entries, and may adapt and develop the idea further. Judges' decision is final. Ms. Chung will ensure the process meets probity requirements. The winner will be notified in advance of the May 19 dinner.