【明報專訊】THE public's response to the public annuity scheme introduced by the government has been more tepid than anticipated. In violation of the sales agreement, some bank workers promoting the scheme on behalf of the government have even tried to sell their own products to elderly people who enquired about the public scheme. A public annuity is intended to be a hedge against "longevity risk". It provides elderly people with a retirement protection alternative that guarantees a stable monthly income. It is not bad as a new product. However, since it comes into conflict with the interests of or policies advocated by some people, it has met with quite a bit of scepticism, some of which is actually misleading. In the face of some specious "counter publicity", the government should step up its publicity and education campaign. To pave the way for the public annuity scheme's becoming a permanent programme, its sales arrangements should also be improved.