GROWING concern about the plight of Hong Kong's retired workers yesterday prompted more than 4,000 people to take to the streets in the drizzle to demand the introduction of a comprehensive retirement protection. The demonstrators, mostly from the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU) and Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, want the Government to introduce a central provident fund and a social security system to protect retired people. The Government will soon decide whether Hong Kong should have any type of retirement protection but it has made it clear it does not favour a central fund. FTU chairman, Cheng Yiu-tong, vowing to continue to fight on the issue, said: ''We just want elderly people to be able to enjoy the rest of their lives without having to worry. ''Although we have demanded a retirement protection scheme for the past 20 years, the Government has not acted on it.'' FTU standing executive committee member, Chan Yuen-han, said more than half of those over 60 had to work long hours to make a living. A 62-year-old retired worker, Hung Chi, who took his three children aged between five and 13 to the march from Victoria Park to Government House, said: ''When I retired two years ago, I received nothing from my employer because he had not set up any pension scheme for the workers. ''So I have to continue to work as a casual worker despite my poor health. And my 48-year-old wife has to wash dishes in a restaurant to earn some money.'' A woman employed in a metalwork factory for more than 30 years said: ''I am 67 years old but I still have to work. I don't want to depend on my family so I have to work to sustain myself.'' Mr Cheng said the FTU submitted their proposals to the Special Administrative Region Preparatory Committee's working groups three weeks ago.