THE Life Insurance Council is expected to back the Government's proposed Mandatory Provident Fund in a forthcoming report on the scheme. Council chairman Victor Apps yesterday gave the scheme his support and called on the industry to help resolve technical problems that could hamper its introduction. Mr Apps, vice-president and chairman of Manulife's Greater China Division, said: 'There is no doubt the implementation of the fund is very much in the best interests of the Hong Kong people. The proposals may have been put together somewhat hastily and a number of details need to be ironed out.' He said the current position - where employees were not provided with pension cover - was untenable. He said the fund's general direction was sound and it forced all employers to provide a pension plan for employees. 'Hong Kong is a rich territory and can, and should, insist that appropriate pensions are provided for all,' he said. If the Hewitt Associates and GML Consulting recommendations are given the go-ahead, the scheme initially will cover all permanent employees 18 or older with the benefits being privately managed until workers reach 65, or after 60 if retired. The report, which was completed in three weeks, recommends a contribution by both employees and employers of five per cent of employees' monthly income, up to a maximum income level of $20,000, with a ceiling of $1,000 each. It has been attacked by a range of professional and community groups as failing to meet the workforce's retirement needs. Among its most vocal critics has been the Wyatt Company, the actuarial group whose alternative defined benefit scheme was scrapped by the Government. It claims the scheme is unlikely to be introduced in its current format or within the Government's proposed timetable.