Updated: Aug 21, 2021
The MPF System is set up to help Hong Kong’s workforce save up for their retirement. MPF provides the workforce with basic retirement protection.
Types of MPF Schemes
Master Trust Schemes
Master Trust Schemes are the most common type of MPF schemes. They pool contributions from various employers and scheme members together for administration and investment, so as to benefit from economies of scale.
Master Trust Schemes are available to all employers, employees, self-employed persons and persons planning to open personal accounts or tax deductible voluntary contribution (TVC) accounts. The following types of accounts can be set up under Master Trust Schemes:
Employer Sponsored Schemes
Employer Sponsored Schemes are only available to employees of a single employer and its subsidiaries or associated companies.
No personal accounts can be set up under Employer Sponsored Schemes.
Industry Schemes are specially designed for casual employees of the catering industry and the construction industry. Casual employees are persons employed on a day-to-day basis or for a fixed period of less than 60 days.
Besides casual employees, regular employees (i.e. non-casual employees) in the catering industry and the construction industry can also participate in Industry Schemes. However, their contributions shall be calculated in the same way as those for other regular employees. The following types of accounts can be set up under Industry Schemes:
Except for exempt persons, employees and self-employed persons aged 18 to 64 are required to join an MPF scheme under the MPFSO.
An employee is a person engaged by an employer under an employment contract (which can be made in writing or orally and includes express or implied terms).
Regular employees are employees aged 18 to 64 and have been employed in any industry for a continuous period of 60 days or more.
Casual employees are employees aged 18 to 64 and employed in the construction industry or the catering industry on a day-to-day basis or for a fixed period of less than 60 days.
Under the MPF System, self-employed persons are those who earn income from the production of or trade of goods or services in a capacity other than that of an employee (i.e. those who work for themselves). Sole proprietors and partners in a partnership are regarded as self-employed persons.
Choosing the right MPF scheme
The purpose of MPF is to provide retirement benefits to the working population. Employers should understand their employees’ needs and preferences beforehand in order to choose an MPF trustee and scheme that provides their employees with the most suitable products and services at appropriate levels of fee.
Participating in more than one scheme
Employers may participate in more than one MPF scheme in order to offer more options to their employees so that they can choose a scheme that best suits their needs. To give employees more choices, employers should select MPF schemes that offer a variety of MPF funds and services, and take into account the fees and performance of the funds.
Enrolment for Employees
Under the MPF System, except for exempt persons, employers are legally obliged to both their full-time and part-time employees aged 18 to 64 who have been employed for a continuous period of 60 days or more in an MPF scheme.
Employers are required to enrol enrol new employees in the MPF scheme they are participating in within the first 60 days of their employment.
The 60-day period, starting from the first day of employment, is counted by calendar days (including holidays) instead of working days.
If the 60th day of employment is a Saturday, a public holiday or a gale/black rainstorm warning day, the enrolment deadline is extended to the next day which is not a Saturday, a public holiday or a gale/black rainstorm warning day.
Employers have to provide their employees with an enrolment form of the MPF scheme(s) they are participating in.
The form would require the following information:
the MPF funds selected
personal particulars of the employee
tax residency self-certification ( i.e. declaration on whether the employee is a tax resident outside Hong Kong)
Employers should return the completed forms to their trustees for opening an account for their employees.
Employers are to provide their employees the enrolment form. Employees will study the funds offered by the MPF scheme and decide which funds they would like to invest in.
If an employee does not indicate any fund choice in the in the enrolment form for the MPF scheme, the contributions will be invested according to the Default Investment Strategy (DIS).
Notice of participation
After an employee has been accepted as a member of an MPF scheme, the trustee will issue a notice of participation to the member. The notice will include:
name of the MPF scheme in which the member is enrolled
name and address of the trustee
name of the scheme member
issue date of the notice
Factors to consider when choosing an MPF scheme
1. Range and quality of services of trustees and their service providers
2. Sufficient choice and suitability of funds When assessing an MPF scheme, it is far more important to consider the suitability of funds than the number of funds that are offered.
3. Fees and charges
Funds under MPF schemes are managed by professionals and thus incur fees and charges.
Different MPF schemes have different policies in levying management fees. Scheme members should also check for any other fees and charges, such as:
joining fees; and/or
annual fees; and/or
transaction fees and charges deducted from scheme members’ accounts.
Understanding MPF schemes
MPF Scheme Brochures can be obtained from trustees or downloaded from the Repository of MPF Scheme Documents on MPFA’s website. The document is also available in most of the trustees’ company websites. These documents contain important information about the schemes.
Learn more about registered MPF schemes and constituent funds.
For more information about the services available under various MPF schemes, please contact the relevant trustees or refer to the Trustee Service Comparative Platform on MPFA’s website.
For more information about the funds offered by different MPF schemes, please contact the relevant trustees or refer to the MPF Fund Platform.
For more information, refer to the MPF Fund Platform on MPFA’s website.
If you would like to know more, please contact Bestar.