Widows and Orphans Pension Scheme
The Widows and Orphans Pension Scheme (WOPS) is a contributory scheme operated by the Government which provides pension benefits to the widow and orphans of a deceased officer who was a member of the Scheme. The operation of the Scheme is governed by the Widows and Orphans Pension Ordinance and the Scheme is administered by the Board of Directors of the Widows and Orphans Pension Scheme.
Before February 1993, male pensionable officers appointed on or before 1 January 1978, with a few exceptions, were compulsorily required to contribute to the WOPS to provide for their widows and orphans. They are required to contribute at the rate of 4% of his salary, or opt to limit his contribution to $125 a month or more when 4% of his salary exceeds $125. The Scheme became obsolescent with the introduction of the Widows and Children's Pensions Scheme (now retitled as Surviving Spouses' and Children's Pensions Scheme) in 1978. It was closed to new members on 1 January 1978.
The WOPS became voluntary in 1993. Members who commenced contribution to the Scheme before 1 February 1993 were allowed to opt to cease to contribute to the Scheme within the period 1 February 1993 to 31 July 1993.
The payment of a pension under the WOPS commences upon the death of the contributor or a former contributor who has a preserved benefit in the Scheme. The pension is first paid to the widow. In the event of the widow's death or remarriage, payment of the widow's pension will cease and the pension benefits will then be paid to the orphans, if there are any.