PLANS to seek Executive Council approval for the Government's proposed retirement protection scheme on Tuesday have been scrapped at the last moment, in a further setback for the problem-prone initiative. Chief Secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang will meet with aides tomorrow, to decide whether Friday's planned unveiling of a consultants' report on the scheme will now also have to be cancelled. Officials would not comment on the delays, but indicated it was related to the extreme complexity of the issue, with the report understood to run to hundreds of pages. 'When you see it, you'll understand these delays,' one official said. The issue had been on the agenda for Tuesday's Executive Council meeting, until a flurry of meetings last Friday decided it had to be postponed. The Government is trying to rush through the legislation to establish a mandatory provident fund scheme before the Legislative Council's July recess to compensate for its decision to scrap the proposed Old Age Pension Scheme earlier this year. But the latest delay has cast further doubt on a timetable which the Government already admits is extremely tight, with more than 30 other bills - including the controversial Court of Final Appeal legislation - also needing to be enacted before the summer. Officials said yesterday they feared opposition from legislators would cause further delays. Although the Legislative Council narrowly backed the provident fund scheme last month, many legislators remained bitter about the scrapping of the old age pension scheme. The Liberal Party, which previously supported the Government on the issue, is also now threatening to reverse its stance. The tight timetable has already prompted three top pension consultants to turn down the $3 million contract to scrutinise the scheme. The actuaries - Wyatt Company, William M. Mercer and Towers Perrin - all said it was impossible to do a proper job in under six months. Instead the contract was awarded to the small Hong Kong firm of GML Consulting, the local office of Hewitt Associates, the world's fourth largest actuary. It is their report which Mrs Chan will tomorrow decide whether to delay. The Government had planned to present it to a special meeting of the Legislative Council's Manpower panel on Friday. The report is understood to recommend the creation of a government-run mandatory provident funds authority. The report may also propose allowing workers to opt for a private insurance company, rather than their employer, to handle their contributions.