Briefs | Pensions system enters into operation

The Non-Mandatory Central Provident Fund System came into force on January 1 this year, according to the Social Security Fund (FSS). Members of the public can now invest and make savings through the fund as a means of preparing for retirement. At present, a total of five fund management entities have joined the system, providing a total of 26 pension funds. The five fund management entities that have already joined the non-mandatory central provident fund system are AIA International Limited, Fidelidade – Companhia de Seguros, S.A., Companhia de Seguros Luen Fung Hang – Vida, S.A., China Life Insurance (Overseas) Company Limited and Sociedade Gestora de Fundos de Pensões ICBC (Macau), S.A. Interested parties can check the related fund information on the Non-Mandatory Central Provident Fund System information platform of the FSS.

FSS undertakes work on raising birth allowance

The Social Security Fund (FSS) announced that it has recently coordinated with several government departments on work to increase the amount of birth allowance of the social security system. To increase the birth rate, Chief Executive Chui Sai On proposed in his 2018 Policy Address that the birth allowance would be increased from the current MOP1,957 to MOP5,000, and that both eligible parents can receive the allowance. The proposal for the increase is scheduled for discussion by the Standing Committee for the Coordination of Social Affairs, which strives to have the proposal implemented by April 1. After its approval, the proposal will be announced in an executive order, the FSS said.

Lou Pak Sang chosen as new DSEJ director

The Deputy Director of the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ), Lou Pak Sang, will succeed the current DSEJ director, Leong Lei, as the head of the education authority, according to a report by Macao Daily News. Leong Lei, the current DSEJ head, will end his term on February 6. The Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam, said that Lou performed outstandingly in his work in the past, and that Lou has a tremendous amount of experience working in education. Alexis Tam will assess candidates for the position of DSEJ deputy director when Lou starts his services as the head of DSEJ.

European banks rejecting transfers to Macau

At least two European banking institutions have recently rejected requests to perform transfers to Macau banking institutions. The situation arises from the fact that the region is now included on the European Union (EU) list of tax havens, Radio Macau reported. A Portuguese and an Italian bank have recently rejected bank transfers into the region that were said by the companies involved to be payments of suppliers and services. Macau last month became listed as one of 17 jurisdictions classified as tax havens by the EU. The recommendations from the group of EU finance ministers have asked the member states to adopt “defensive measures” towards these jurisdictions, including paying close attention to and using in-depth monitoring of financial transactions with banking institutions operating in the 17 jurisdictions. The defensive measures aim to urge the countries and regions on the list to enforce protective rules against money laundering related to illicit activities, potential terrorism financing and tax evasion.

First HKZMB marathon reportedly planned for March

The first Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge HKZMB marathon is reportedly planned to take place in March, according to a report by Tai Chung Pou. It is predicted that 10,000 people will participate in the marathon, which will be 42.195 kilometers long. It is currently expected that 8,000 people will participate in the full marathon and 2,000 people will participate in the five kilometer long mini-marathon. Groups have been discussing the launch of a marathon on the HKZMB since 2013.

Two more cases of hypothermia reported

The Health Bureau (SSM) has reported that two more cases of hypothermia occurred between 4 p.m. on Wednesday and 4 p.m. yesterday. The two people suffering from hypothermia have been registered at the Emergency Services of the Public Hospital (CHCSJ) and are reportedly two males with ages within the 50 to 71 years range. According to the statement, both cases of hyperthermia were considered light and the patients were released from the hospital after they received treatment. According to the forecast of the Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau, temperatures will remain low in the upcoming days.

New Macau Association crowdfunding jar on 17pct

The New Macau Association (AMN) launched a crowd funding campaign on January 8, with the aim of raising a total amount of HKD300,000 during the 90 days. The initiative has won the backing of 44 people and has currently raised HKD53,270, equal to 17 percent of the target amount. The campaign was established on the crowdfunding platform “FringeBacker” and the funds will be used to cover part of the costs of the association. AMN has been operating at the expense of their members for the past 25 years. This has come through, “20 percent of the salary of our lawmakers, [an] annual membership fee (MOP200) and small donation[s] from supporters and citizens.” In the same statement, the association remarks that it has never received any support directly from the government or through the Macao Foundation and called on people who have strong values and wish to support the continuation of their work to contribute to the campaign.

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