22 October 2018

Hong Kong, Hong Kong

  • Hong Kong's pension system receives the highest score for Integrity in Asia
  • Hong Kong’s Index score is likely to improve, with personal tax incentives for MPF voluntary contributions, as well as abolishment of MPF offsetting
  • 2018 is the first year that Hong Kong SAR has been included in the index
  • Private pension systems need to expand to be truly inclusive

Ageing populations continue to pose a challenge to governments worldwide, with policymakers struggling to balance the twin goals of delivering financial security for their retirees that is both adequate for the individual and sustainable for the economy.

Now in its tenth year, the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index reveals who is the most and who is the least prepared to meet this challenge.

Measuring 34 pension systems, the Index shows that the Netherlands and Denmark (with scores of 80.3 and 80.2 respectively) both offer A-Grade world class retirement income systems with good benefits - clearly demonstrating their preparedness for tomorrow’s ageing world.

Hong Kong SAR ranked third in Asia (with an overall score of 56) and was included for the first time in the widely-anticipated global Index in 2018.

“The reason that Hong Kong SAR received the highest score for Integrity in Asia (84.2) is mainly due to the good governance, high integrity of financial system and regulatory framework, detailed investment disclosure requirements and strong supervision by the Hong Kong Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (“MPFA”)” said Adeline Tan, Wealth Business Leader, Mercer Hong Kong.

“We expect further improvement in relation to the adequacy score for Hong Kong SAR, if the government’s recent proposals on providing personal tax incentives for Mandatory Provident Fund (“MPF”) voluntary contributions, as well as the abolishment of MPF offsetting are implemented. Additional boost to the Adequacy score could come from development of the private annuity market. We are confident that the overall Index value for the Hong Kong pension system can be further increased with a close collaboration between the public and private sector,” she added.

A key area under the Hong Kong’s pension system assessment is the MPF System.

“According to Mercer’s findings from the monthly MPF Satisfaction Index  in September, the biggest expectation that MPF members have from MPF providers is to lower fund management fees. With the MPFA’s continuous efforts to keep costs at a reasonable level, as seen with the introduction of the Default Investment Strategy, we believe Hong Kong would continue to hold its leading position on Integrity,” said Billy Wong, MPF Leader, Mercer Hong Kong.

Common across all results was the growing tension between adequacy and sustainability. This was particularly evident when examining Europe’s results. Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden score A or B grades for both adequacy and sustainability, whereas Austria, Italy and Spain score a B grade for adequacy but an E grade for sustainability thereby pointing to important areas needing reform.

Author of the study and Senior Partner at Mercer Australia, Dr David Knox says that the natural starting place to having a world class pension system is ensuring the right balance between adequacy and sustainability.

“It’s a challenge that policymakers are grappling with,” says Dr Knox. “For example, a system providing very generous benefits in the short-term is unlikely to be sustainable, whereas a system that is sustainable over many years could be providing very modest benefits. The question is – what’s an appropriate trade-off?”

As highlighted in Chart 1, all systems should consider adjusting their strategy so they are moving towards the top right quadrant. Through the study, policymakers can understand the characteristics of leading systems and find ways to improve their own.

Chart 1: Adequacy versus Sustainability ratings for global pension systems


Source: Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index 2018

Dr Knox adds that it’s not enough for a system to be sustainable or adequate; an emerging dimension to the debate about what constitutes a world class system is “coverage” and the proportion of the adult population participating in the system.
“In some countries, broad coverage has been successfully accomplished through compulsory workplace pension systems or, in some cases, auto-enrolment arrangements,” he says.

“However, with changes in the way people are working around the world, we need to ensure these schemes include everyone so that the whole workforce is saving for the future. This includes contractors, self-employed, and anyone on any income support, be that parental leave, disability income or unemployed benefits.”

David Anderson, President, International at Mercer added that it was a positive step to see governments tackle pension reform as life expectancies continue to rise.

“Developed economies have been aware of the demographic challenges facing their pension systems for some time. Where economies are less developed, it’s pleasing to see many governments recognising the same trends emerging in their own populations and taking steps now to address this. Such actions make future pension systems more sustainable over the longer term,” he said.

“Ageing populations, high sovereign debt levels in some countries and the global competition to lower taxes constrain the ability of some jurisdictions to improve retirement income security. With a decade of unique data, the MMGPI and associated research can provide valuable global comparative insights to planners and policymakers on the way forward”, said Professor Deep Kapur, Director of Australian Centre for Financial Studies.

What does the future look like?

Some pension systems face a steeper path to long term sustainability than others, and all start from a different origin with their own unique factors at play. Nevertheless, every country can take action and move towards a better system. In the long-term, there is no perfect pension system, but the principles of “best practice” are clear and nations should consider creating policy and economic conditions that make the required changes possible.

With the desired outcome of creating better lives, this year’s Index provides a deeper and richer interpretation of the global pension systems. Having now expanded to include Hong Kong SAR, Peru, Saudi Arabia and Spain; the Index measures 34 systems against more than 40 indicators to gauge their adequacy, sustainability and integrity. This approach highlights an important purpose of the Index – to enable comparisons of different systems around the world with a range of design features operating within different contexts and cultures.

Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index by the Numbers

This year’s Index reveals that many North-Western European countries lead the world in developing world class pension systems. The Netherlands, with an overall score of 80.3, beat Denmark to first place, a spot held by Denmark for six years, by 0.1. Finland bumped Australia (72.6) out of third place with an overall score of 74.5 and Sweden (72.5) coming in fifth place.

“The Index is an important reference for policymakers around the world to learn from the most adequate and sustainable systems,” Dr Knox says. “We know there is no perfect system that can be applied universally, but there are many common features that can be shared for better outcomes.”
Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index – Overall index value results

The Index uses three sub-indices – adequacy, sustainability and integrity – to measure each retirement income system against more than 40 indicators. The following table shows the overall index value for each country, together with the index value for each of the three sub-indices: adequacy, sustainability, and integrity . Each index value represents a score between zero and 100.

2018 Results

[1] Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index 2018, pages 13,14


Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index is published by the Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS), in collaboration with Mercer and the State Government of Victoria who provides most of the funding. Financial support has also been provided by The Finnish Centre for Pensions.

About Mercer
Mercer delivers advice and technology-driven solutions that help organisations meet the health, wealth and career needs of a changing workforce. Across the Pacific, organisations look to Mercer for global insights, thought leadership and product innovation to help transform and grow their businesses.

Mercer’s more than 23,000 employees are based in 44 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With more than 65,000 colleagues and annual revenue over $14 billion, through its market-leading companies including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh & McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit www.mercer.com.au.

About the Australian Centre for Financial Studies

The Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS) is a research centre within the Monash Business School. The Centre was established in 2005 with seed funding from the Victorian Government and became part of Monash University in 2016. The asset management and pension industries are an area of particular focus for the Centre. For more information, visit www.australiancentre.com.au.

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Through its global network of 22 Victorian Government Trade and Investment offices, Trade and Investment Victoria provides free professional investment advice and services to potential and existing overseas partners, helping facilitate investment and access to export markets.

Businesses looking to invest, explore commercial opportunities or create research linkages in Victoria should contact Trade and Investment Victoria for more information.

Victoria - The State of Momentum.




  • 香港養老系統的完整性評分冠絕亞洲
  • 政府就強積金自願性供款提供個人稅務優惠,以及取消強積金對沖,將有助改善本港分數
  • 全球養老金指數首年擴大至涵蓋香港
  • 私人養老金系統需要繼續拓寬以納入所有類型的勞動力




今年首次加入指數的香港於亞洲區排名第三(56分)。Adeline Tan, Wealth Business Leader, Mercer Hong Kong 表示:「香港養老系統的完整性評分(84.2分)冠於亞洲,主要原因為良好的管治、金融體系及監管的完整性、詳盡投資披露的要求以及積金局有力的監管及執行。」
Adeline補充:「隨著政府就強積金自願性供款提供個人稅務優惠,以及取消強積金對沖的建議得以落實,我們預期本港於充足度上得分會有改善,更或因為私人年金市場的發展而進一步提升。 我們有信心在公私營機構的緊密合作下,香港養老系統的整體指數可進一步提升。」

強積金制度是評估本港養老系統的一個關鍵範疇。美世(香港)健康福利及強積金業務部總經理王玉麟先生表示:「根據9月份美世強積金滿意指數(MPF SI)調查結果,成員對強積金營辦商的最大期望是降低基金管理費。 隨著積金局不斷努力將成本維持在合理水平,如引入預設投資策略(DIS),我們相信本港會繼續保持在完整性方面的領先地位。」



從最後的結果來看,荷蘭和丹麥(得分分別為80.3和 80.2)都獲得了A級評分,這代表他們擁有世界頂級的退休收入體系,並且對未來的老齡化問題做好了充分的準備。



該項研究專案的負責人、美世澳大利亞高級合夥人David Knox博士指出:「想要建立一個世界一流的養老金體系,最基本的一點就是確保充足度和可持續性之間的平衡。」

「這是政策制定者所面臨的挑戰。」 Knox博士說道:「例如,一個可以在短期內提供相當不錯的福利的體系往往不太具有可持續性,而一個可以持續多年的體系則可能只能提供很有限的福利。那麼問題就來了,你應當如何做好平衡呢?」



「在一些國家,政府通過強制繳納養老金的方式實現了良好的覆蓋率,而有些國家則採取的是自願的方式。」 他說道。


美世國際市場總裁David Anderson也補充說,各國政府針對預期壽命的延長而著手開始養老金改革是一個喜人的舉措。 「發達國家早已經意識到人口結構的變化對他們養老金體系所帶來的問題。值得高興的是,許多亞洲政府也開始認識到這樣的趨勢,並著手採取措施來進行解決。這樣的舉措可以讓養老金體系在長遠的未來更具有可持續性。」 他說道。

而澳大利亞金融研究中心總監Deep Kapur教授則指出:「人口老齡化、一些國家的外債水準居高不下,再加上全球降稅的浪潮導致一些地區難以提高人們退休收入的保障。而憑藉十多年來所獲得的獨有資料,墨爾本美世養老金指數以及相關的研究可以為規劃者和政策制定者們提供寶貴的全球洞察,以便他們更好地在未來開展工作。」



「我們知道世上並沒有可以通用的完美體系,但有許多共同的環節可供我們借鑒從而取得更好的成果。這一指數對於全球政策制定者而言具有很高的參考價值,各國可以依此制定政策並創造出相應的經濟條件來實現所需的改變,並且他們可以從中瞭解到哪些國家的體系在充足度和可持續性上最具借鑒價值。」 Knox博士說道。

附:墨爾本美世全球養老金指數 – 整體得分情況

該指數通過三個分類指數:充足度、可持續性以及完整性來衡量每個退休收入體系,其中涉及的指標超過40個。下表給出了每個國家/地區養老體系的總得分,及其在三個分類指數上的得分:充足度、可持續性以及完整性。 每個指數都以一個0到100的分數來表示。






美世在全球130多個國家和地區開展業務運營,擁有逾23,000名員工,分佈於44個國家和地區。美世是威達信集團(Marsh & McLennan Companies,紐交所代碼:MMC)的全資子公司。威達信集團是一家全球性的提供風險、戰略與人力資本相關專業服務的國際集團公司,在全球擁有超過60,000名員工,年收入逾130億美元。威達信集團同時也是達信(Marsh)、佳達(Guy Carpenter)、和奧緯(Oliver Wyman)的母公司。威達信協助客戶應對日益變化和複雜的商業環境。如需瞭解更多資訊,敬請訪問www.mercer.com.au.

澳大利亞金融研究中心(ACFS) 是莫納什商學院下的一個研究中心。該中心由維多利亞州政府資助建立於2005年,並於2016年歸入莫納什大學。資產管理和養老金行業屬於該研究中心的重點研究領域。如需瞭解更多資訊,敬請訪問www.australiancentre.com.au



想要在維多利亞州尋求投資、拓展商機或發展研究事業的企業可聯繫維多利亞貿易和投資部獲取更多資訊www.tradeandinvestment.vic.gov.au 。