Launch of MPF to provide jobs in industry
Almost 3,000 jobs will be created by the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF), according to one of the industry's biggest players.
Rob Pocknee, National Mutual Insurance's general manager of employee benefits, said the onset of the MPF was crucial as Hong Kong was in a recession with unemployment at a 15-year high.
He said there should be no further delays in announcing the MPF's starting date.
National Mutual believed April 2000 was the most likely date for implementation, he said.
The biggest demand would be in sales, where Mr Pocknee said approximately 1,200 staff would be needed to seek the SAR's business owners as clients.
National Mutual would look to employ a further 120 people, but it was waiting for a timetable on implementation before committing.
'We want to start increasing our emphasis,' Mr Pocknee said. 'We want to make a greater commitment to hire more people, and we're ready to go.' The MPF Authority is scheduled to hold its first meeting later this month, and there is expected to be pressure from fund managers and administrators for the body to come up with an implementation timetable as soon as possible.
But the chief executive of Principal Insurance Company, Rex Auyeung, said there was also likely to be pressure from members of the Legislative Council to postpone the MPF because of the worsening economic crisis in Hong Kong.
'I strongly suspect there will be a layer of resistance,' he said. 'Some will want to delay it or even call it off.'