Beijing might cover the cost of pensions by selling state assets through a fund similar to Hong Kong's Tracker, according to a top securities regulation adviser. Anthony Neoh, former head of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission and now an adviser to the China Securities Regulatory Commission, told an investment seminar the mainland could also sell bonds to help pay its pension obligations. A Tracker Fund-style share sell-off would also allow Beijing to reduce its holding in the state sector with a softer impact on the stock market. Beijing tried to sell state-held shares of two listed companies last year, but was widely criticised for its aggressive pricing and the negative impact on the market. Estimates of the amount of money required to cover pensions vary from 2.7 trillion yuan (about HK$2.5 trillion) to 13 trillion yuan. The existing system, usually provided by state enterprises or government departments, pays a pension equivalent to 80 per cent of the recipient's former salary. Mr Neoh said that was unsustainable in the longer term, particularly with an instituted retirement age of 60 for men and 55 for women and a life expectancy of 71 years. He said legislation would have to be introduced to legally entitle employees to view the status of their pension account, he said. He also said the National People's Congress would soon review draft legislation to regulate fund-management, venture capital funds and asset-backed investment vehicles. Parliament would soon review a draft of the long-awaited trust law, he added. A key goal of that legislation would be to establish that a person holding another person's funds for investment had a legal responsibility. 'Otherwise [those relationships] are all based on contracts,' he said, adding that would impede growth of the nation's financial intermediaries.