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Retirement for Expats in Hong Kong

Author: Jason Zhou
Submitted: July 2013

Retiring to Hong Kong

You may wish to live in Hong Kong after retirement. However, bear in mind that you may need a visa to stay in Hong Kong permanently. 

If you have retired in another country but want to move to Hong Kong you would need a visa, unless you have already been a Hong Kong permanent resident or a resident who is not subject to a limit of stay. There is no special visa for retiring to Hong Kong.  Normally you need to get the visa though ‘Capital Investment Entrant Scheme’ or ‘Entry for Residence as Dependants in Hong Kong’. To qualify, among other requirements, an applicant for ‘Capital Investment Entrant Scheme’ should have invested HK$10million in Hong Kong within six months before submission of their application to the Immigration Department or will invest within six months after the granting of approval in principle by the Immigration Department. More information can be found here: https://www.immd.gov.hk/en/services/hk-visas/capital-investment-entrant/guidebook.html. You can also try to apply through ‘Entry for Residence as Dependents in Hong Kong’ if your sponsor is a Hong Kong permanent resident or a resident who is not subject to a limit of stay, plus you are your sponsor’s spouse or parents who are aged over 60. For more information, please see here: https://www.immd.gov.hk/en/services/hk-visas/dependents/guidebook.html.  

You should also bear in mind that you need to pay for public healthcare services in Hong Kong, unless you meet certain requirements. More information about the public healthcare services can be found here: www.ha.org.hk.  

Retiring in Hong Kong

There is no default retirement age in Hong Kong. Employees and employers can agree on the age when to retire, although it is widely accepted that the retirement age is 65 for male employees and 60 for female employees.

From 1 December 2000, all employees and self-employed persons (irrespective of their status as a temporary or part-time worker) between the ages of 18 and 65 are required to join the Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme (MPF), unless specially exempt or employed for less than 60 days in the year.

Both employers and employees must pay a minimum contribution of 5% of relevant income (which includes salary, leave pay, fees, commission, bonuses, gratuities and allowances (excluding housing)) to the scheme. Self-employed persons also have to contribute 5% of relevant income.

Under the MPF, the minimum level of relevant income for contribution purposes is HK$6,500 per month (HK$5,000 per month before 1 November 2011). Employees and self-employed persons earning below this level are not required to contribute, but employers must contribute in respect of their employees regardless. No mandatory contributions are required in respect of any income over HK$25,000 per month (HK$20,000 per month before 1 June 2012).

Employees are required to contribute a minimum of 5% of their relevant income under an MPF scheme (except for the first 30 days of employment). They may also choose to contribute additional moneys voluntarily by written notice to their employer, even if their relevant income is less than HK$6,500 per month; or in respect of the excess income over HK$25,000 per month (HK$20,000 per month before 1 June 2012).

There are three types of MPF schemes: master trust schemes (open to employees of more than one employer and self-employed people); employer sponsored schemes (restricted to only the employees of the employer setting up the scheme); and industry schemes (for high labour mobility industries).

MPF benefits, being the lump sum of the total employer and employee contributions plus investment earnings, are preserved and become payable when the member; reaches the retirement age of 65; attains the age of 60 and retires early; permanently departs from Hong Kong (only once in a lifetime); becomes totally incapacitated; or dies.

For more information about MPF, you can visit the Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme Authority here:  https://www.mpfa.org.hk/eng/main/index.jsp

There is no national health policy in Hong Kong. Employers are free to determine whether to take up medical or health insurance for the benefit of their employees.

Life of retirement  

Most people would like to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living. However, considering the high property price and living cost in Hong Kong, it is highly recommended to have a detailed financial plan for retirement as early as possible.  For more tips for life of retirement in Hong Kong, you can visit Hong Kong Government website here: https://www.gov.hk/en/residents/employment/mpf/employees/planandtips.htm.



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