The MPF will pay out benefits as lump sums but consultants William M Mercer have calculated the effect of investment returns on payouts expressed as a multiple of final salary. For demonstration purposes, the lump sum payment is treated as if it were received on a monthly basis until the expected time of death. This is a good way of getting a feel for the size of the payout. The top line represents the expected payout if returns on the fund average 3 per cent higher than salary inflation over the term of the investment. A 3 per cent real return is likely to be achievable with a growth-style of investment choice, according to Mercer. Someone retiring at 65, having paid into an MPF fund since the age of 25, would get a lump sum equivalent to about 70 per cent of final salary per month. The middle line broadly represents what might happen with a balanced-type investment. Note that the return here has fallen to about 50 per cent of final salary. At the bottom of the chart, if the return falls 1 per cent below salary inflation, as it might with capital preservation products, the payout falls to about 20 per cent of final salary. Clearly, the choice of investment strategy would have a strong bearing on the amount members received on retirement. This means special attention would need to be paid to investment strategies offered, investor education and employee communications, according to Mercer.