Meeting of LegCo Panel on Welfare Services on 14 September 1998
Agenda Item III : Welfare services for the elderly

Portable Comprehensive Social Security Assistance
for Elderly Persons Retiring to Guangdong

The Scheme

The Portable Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (PCSSA) Scheme was implemented on 1 April 1997. Under the Scheme, elderly persons aged 60 or above who are permanent Hong Kong residents and who have been receiving CSSA continuously for 3 years are allowed to continue to receive their monthly standard rate payment and annual long-term supplement should they choose to leave Hong Kong to take up permanent residence in Guangdong.

Present position

2. As at 31 August 1998, we have received a total of 1142 applications since the implementation of the PCSSA Scheme. 989 applications have been approved and 968 elderly beneficiaries of the Scheme have already settled in Guangdong.

3. The major places of settlement are Jiangmen, Guangzhou, Foshan and Dongguan (see Annex I for details of the geographical distribution of those who have settled in Guangdong).

Profile of PCSSA recipients

4. A profile of PCSSA recipients is provided in Annex II. About half of the recipients are aged 80 or above, and one-fifth disabled. The great majority (98%) are living with their relatives/friends and only a small number (2%) are living in residential institutions in Guangdong.

Monitoring system

5. The Hong Kong Red Cross has been appointed as the agent of the Social Welfare Department to help implement the scheme. Its main duty is to carry out checks on PCSSA cases by means of postal reviews and home visits. It also handles enquiries from and changes reported by these recipients and arranges escort service for those recipients having a genuine need to return to Hong Kong but unable to make the arrangements on their own.


6. To ensure that the Scheme is generally known to elderly CSSA recipients, we have widely publicized the Scheme, which has attracted a lot of media coverage, before and after its implementation. Currently, in addition to printed publicity materials in the form of posters and pamphlets which are widely available to CSSA recipients and members of the public, an Announcement of Public Interest on the Scheme is broadcast on radio, and a video tape is played regularly at social security field units to introduce and explain the details of the Scheme. Information on the Scheme in a recorded message is also available in Cantonese, Putonghua, Chiu Chow, Hakka and Toishan on SWD's 24-hour telephone hot-line.

Increase in PCSSA payment

7. In addition to inflationary adjustment, the monthly standard rate payment for PCSSA recipients was increased by $380 in real terms in April 1998. As a result, the average monthly payments received by PCSSA recipients as from April 1998 are as follows:

A single-able-bodied elderly : $2,689
A single 100% disabled elderly : $3,229
A single elderly in need of constant attendance : $4,489
A married couple (both able-bodied) : $5,088

PCSSA Review

8. We have pledged to review the PCSSA Scheme during 1998/99. The review will cover all existing arrangements including eligibility criteria, benefit level, payment arrangements, review mechanism, role of SWD's agent and other administrative measures, and the implications and feasibility of extending the Scheme to other provinces. The review is expected to be completed within the current financial year.

Health and Welfare Bureau
September, 1998

Annex II

Profile of PCSSA recipients
(as at 31.8.98)


No. of single person PCSSA cases


No. of family PCSSA cases with 2 eligible members



Age of PCSSA recipients (at the time of application for PCSSA)




80 & above

No. of recipients



524 (52%)

No. of recipients


Sex of PCSSA recipients






Continuous length on CSSA before application for PCSSA

Period on CSSA

3 - 4 yrs

5 - 10 yrs

above 10 yrs

No. of recipients

327 (33%)


358 (36%)


No. of PCSSA recipients receiving the standard rate for :

a) able-bodied elderly

820 (82%)

b) 100% disabled

128 (13%)

c) requiring constant attendance

51 (5%)


No. of recipients living in residential institutions in Guangdong

23 (2%)

No. of recipients living with relatives/friends in Guangdong

976 (98%)