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Old Aged Poverty In Hong Kong Sociology Essay

Actually, the poverty situation of the elderly people in Hong Kong is quite worrying. According to the results released by the Census and Reports Section, the poverty rate of older people people has been over 30% since 1998, meaning one out of three elderly people is residing in poverty. However, the challenge was not solved any more. In 2008, the problem was getting a lot more serious. There's been already twenty-seven thousands seniors were in poor. Based on the amount released by europe Sustainable Development Indicator, the poverty rate of older people people in Hong Kong is comparatively greater than other countries while assessing the situation to other countries like the U. K and the Italy. It is predicted that the amount of the elderly people will be around two millions. The above results reflect that the life span of those seniors cannot be guarded well after pension. Now, I will discuss the reason why those seniors would still have the serious financial difficult even they had been doing work for many years before pension.

Undoubtedly, the fast change in the labor market in Hong Kong definitely leads to the current later years poverty. To begin with, whether the seniors would be in poverty probably depends upon their working background before old age and the occupation market in those days. In the past, light industry in Hong Kong was extremely popular in the 60's and 70's. There was a great demand of working labor. Many people who were low educated and insufficient specialist skills would thought we would work as a worker in the factories. Needless to say, their salary would relatively low. However, their working situation acquired become a lot more difficult after Hong Kong has been changed into a knowledge-based contemporary society. More and more industrial factories have moved to the mainland and those personnel' salary would keep declining. Within the 80's Hong Kong progressed from a largely making based economy to 1 which was service-based (Suen and Chan 1997), because so many factories migrated to mainland China to exploit the cheaper labor costs (Suen 1995; Tao and Wong 2002). Because of this, their savings were extremely limited they didn't have extra money for investment to be able to earn much more money. Beneath the knowledge-based society, the bigger educational level people get, the bigger salary they might have. For all those 60's and 70's people, they could hardly have an increased educational level as employed in the factories for so a long time. This means that their income would retain in the reduced level. Because of this, it isn't common that they might easily become poor and have for help from the federal government after retirement life.

Lacking a thorough pension system

Comprehensive Friendly Security Assistance is the only cultural security system in Hong Kong. If retirees got financial difficulty, they would apply for the CSSA to see whether they meet the criteria or not. However, CSSA would not help to solve the poverty in the old age after retirement. To begin with, financial research would be achieved once the elderly people have applied for the CSSA. Actually, the property limit for the application of the CSSA is quite low. In case the old older person has around ten thousands dollars in the lender account, he/she would not qualify for getting CSSA. It totally shows that the particular policy suggested by the government was predicated on the point of view of residual welfare. Because of this, only the deserved low-quality would be helped by the CSSA. Thus, the CSSA system would lead to the stigmatization and only the poorest people could have chance to be included in to the sociable security system, meaning some of older people people is probably not eligible to obtain CSSA even they have got financial difficulty after retirement living.

Besides, The implementation of the required Provident Finance (MPF) design in 2000-a system of compulsory personal cost savings (5 per cent of workers' earnings and an equal contribution from employers) deposited in individualized personal savings accounts to accumulate benefits for retirement-is unlikely to be of much help to these workers. A lot of people who have retired may possibly need to keep their daily life by their MPF. However, the worthiness of the MPF probably will depend on how much salary people attained in the past. If the individual who gained only little before, his/her MPF would not be adequate to enjoy the rest of the life.

The marriage between Early Old age and poverty

From my perspective, early retirement life would also be one of the main factors that contribute to poverty in the later years. As I have mentioned above, due to the longer life expectancy and insufficient retirement income protection, nearly all older workers make an effort to stay in the labor market for so long as possible to be able to earn a living. Unfortunately, most of them were required to retire because of long-term unemployment, especially people that have a minimal education level (Chou, Chow and Chi, 2003). According to a study of 2003 old parents aged above 60 in Hong Knog conducted by the Deloitte and Touche Consulting Group (2007), it exhibited that most of them did not want to retire although they have reached the standard retirement age because they would like to work to be able to earn much more until they can't to do so. However, many of them have been out of expectation. The review also confirmed that those employees in Hong Kong who be prepared to work until they can't do so can be actually more vulnerable to unemployment, or even early on involuntary retirement. For the reason that they have comparatively lower educational attainment and lower incomes-and hence were more likely to be unemployed and/or to be under financial tension (Chou, Chow and Chi, 2003).

As I've mentioned above, those employee who worker in the making industry would have low wages and they could hardly strive in the nowadays market following the society has already been changed into knowledge-based. Because of this, this kind of employees would be forced to retire early credited to either labor market restructuring or outdated skills. While concluding these factors how old age is a determining factor of poverty in old age, it is expected that there will be three types of old staff. The first group includes those who will choose to retire at a particular age and who will be well protected by retirement plans. The second will be composed of early retirees, compelled to retire prior to the time of 65. The 3rd group will consist of those who plan to continue working until either these are expelled from the competitive labor market or their health will not allow them to continue. Because of this, those who find themselves in low educational level would face a great financial difficulty after retirement living.

Ways to avoid poverty after retirement

After examining the reason why old age is a identifying factor of poverty in later years in Hong Kong. In the followings, I'd like to suggest some ways to help comfort the old-aged poverty after pension in Hong Kong.

To commence with, I would suggested that the government should propose a pension system for the old-aged poor rather than only running the existing CSSA system to help this special group. While coping with the old-aged poor, only finding ways for them to escape from the poor independently may not enough. It's important for the government to fulfill their financial and sociable needs to ensure that their later life wouldn't normally be influenced by the poverty.

Secondly, I would also claim that the government needs to deal with the problem of age discrimination in Hong Kong as it could probably affect aged workers' potential customers of recruitment, promotion and training (OECD 1995; Walker and Taylor 1993). Although there is absolutely no mandatory retirement in Hong Kong, employers would explain that older personnel are unwilling to learn new skills, nor want to simply accept new tasks. Thus, many people would think that these workers are more difficult to teach (Chiu and Ngan, 1999). Because of this, older employees in Hong Kong are certainly more likely to be unemployed and less inclined to be marketed or determined for training than more youthful staff (Ho, 2000). Therefore, there is a great need for campaigns fond of employers to encourage guidelines in the workplace for all ages. To my brain, legislation is needed to be able to eliminate get older discrimination. As I have mentioned before, people's life time was already much longer in this ten years, people would still be in physical form healthy even they are above sixty years of age. Which means, they remain competitive in the labor market. If indeed they were compelled to retire early, they would haven't any more chance to earn and save more. In fact, most of them do not earn much in their work. After pension, poverty would be the next difficulty to allow them to come across. To deal with this problem, It is suggested age retirement life would be postponed so long as possible once they lost their earning capability one day.


To conclude, elderly people in Hong Kong don't have much choice when it comes to retirement or work. Most of them are either compelled to retire early on or strive to stay static in the labor market for so long as possible to be able to meet their financial needs. The issue of poverty in the later years would be getting a lot more serious in the future. Retirement nowadays appears to be a signal which ultimately shows to the old staff that they might face poverty if they wouldn't normally earn much when they were young. To resolve this issue, redefining retirement is needed as many folks are definitely in a position to work very well even they are over 60 years old. At the same time, reframing the thought of MPF and setting up a fresh pension system for the elderly is also necessary because many elderly, apart from the deserved poor, also have to obtain financial welfare.

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