The Politics of MPF Reform : Lessons from Public Attitudes in Hong Kong

Stefan KÜHNER*, Kee Lee CHOU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

Abstract

This article examines public attitudes towards two reform options for the defined-contribution (DC) Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) scheme in Hong Kong: (i) increasing MPF contributions; or (ii) introducing a universal pension partly funded by switching MPF contributions to the universal pension. Drawing on a phone survey conducted with 975 active contributors to the MPF, we examine whether agreement with these MPF reform options can be explained by respondents’ self-interest, attachment to different welfare ideologies, their level of confusion with the MPF, uncertainty about future MPF income, and trust in the Hong Kong government to deal with MPF issues. This research identifies that it is uncertainty with future MPF income and low trust in the Hong Kong government to deal with MPF issues that have the most significant effect on respondents’ MPF reform preferences. Mainstream accounts of the effect of liberalist, universalist, conservative, and familistic welfare ideologies are only partially confirmed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-430
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Policy and Society
Volume19
Issue number3
Early online date27 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • pension reform
  • defined-contribution pension
  • mandatory provident fund
  • public attitudes
  • Hong Kong
  • Pension reform
  • defined-contribution pensions

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