The upper salary limit for contributions to the Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme should not be raised, to avoid burdening employees, a member of the scheme's advisory committee said yesterday. Speaking at RTHK's City Forum, committee member Ho Sai-chu said raising the present cap of $20,000 a month now would have an adverse effect amid the economic downturn. More than 100,000 low-paid workers will no longer have to make contributions to the fund under proposals to revamp the scheme unveiled last week. Mr Ho said if the cap was raised, both owners of small- and medium-sized firms and the middle classes would be under great financial pressure. 'I think people are afraid of becoming unemployed and want to keep their money.' he said. Higher-income earners now only need pay a contribution based on the first $20,000 of their monthly income. However, Mr Ho said reports the committee would recommend raising the limit to $30,000 were unfounded. The committee had agreed the cap should be raised but not yet, and no new limit had been proposed. Employees earning $20,000 a month or more contribute a minimum of $1,000 to schemes, while employers contribute the same amount. Those earning $4,000 or less are exempt, but employers must still contribute five per cent of these workers' monthly salaries. Mr Ho said the scheme authority board would discuss whether to raise the exemption for those earning $4,000 to $5,000 a month later this month.