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All MPF trustees pledge to put scheme members’ interests first

All Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) trustees pledged to put scheme members’ interests first at a pledging ceremony for upholding the Governance Charter for MPF Trustees (Charter), held by the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA) today (24 May).
 
The trustees committed to put in place a sound governance framework to operate MPF schemes efficiently and effectively for the benefit of the working population in Hong Kong. The pledge will enhance public confidence and trust in the MPF System.
 
Speaking at the ceremony, MPFA Chairman Dr David Wong pointed out that the commitment to good governance goes far beyond regulations and comes largely from the heart of everyone in the MPF industry.
 
Dr Wong said promoting a high standard of governance among all MPF trustees has always been a key regulatory objective of the MPFA. The efforts have gained traction among the trustees and are reaping results in a number of ways.
 
A number of trustees have included “value for money” and “member-first” core values in their business plans and have started to refine their fund investment structures to achieve better cost-effectiveness. Some have set aside a significant budget to upgrade and revamp their MPF administration system for greater efficiency and improved member experience, and are making wider use of e-communication channels with their members. A few trustees have also committed to reducing fees.
 
Dr Wong said the fee reductions are estimated to bring a savings of at least $200 million to scheme members in the coming year.
 
Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Mr James Lau, the Guest of Honour at the ceremony, said the development of the Charter is a key milestone in the 17-year history of the MPF System. He said good governance among MPF trustees is absolutely critical in safeguarding the MPF System to ensure that the working population will have a basic level of retirement protection after making contributions over a long working life.
 
He called upon all trustees to take a more active role in attaining the goal of excellence in governance. The trustees should have a culture that emphasizes scheme members’ interests and it is crucial that the values of the Charter are instilled from the top management down to the front line.
 
The Charter has six core values, or VALUES –

  • Value-for-money MPF schemes and services;
  • Act in the best interests of members;
  • Lift governance standards;
  • Understand and respond to members’ needs;
  • Engage members through transparency and communication; and
  • Serve with honesty and integrity.
 
Apart from the Charter, the MPFA has developed a set of governance principles, which provide a framework that aims to assist the MPF trustees to discharge their fiduciary duties. Going forward, the MPFA will continue to work closely with the trustees in order to guide and assist their boards to conduct self-assessment and review their current governance structure, competence and capability.
 
In her closing remarks, MPFA Managing Director Mrs Diana Chan reminded all the trustees to keep the “VALUES” in mind at all times and work with the MPFA to make them a reality. Together, the MPFA and the trustees would continue to refine and develop the MPF System into one that is valued by the people of Hong Kong.
 
After the pledging ceremony, the MPFA held a seminar for the MPF industry, where a number of experts discussed governance issues.
 
They said a robust governance framework is fundamental to fulfilling MPF trustees’ fiduciary duties. With global financial markets changing rapidly, the trustees have to be better equipped to enhance their capabilities at the board level. In the long run, there is also a need for the trustees to educate their members and to enhance their understanding of the MPF as a retirement investment.
 
They believed the major developments ahead will involve providing MPF scheme members with simpler, transparent and low-cost investment strategies, as well as products that can provide retirement outcomes based on personal retirement needs. The industry will also need to adopt smarter and wider use of FinTech.

 
Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Mr James Lau (ninth from left), MPFA Chairman Dr David Wong (ninth from right), MPFA Managing Director Mrs Diana Chan (eighth from left), and MPFA Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director Ms Alice Law (eighth from right) join representatives of 14 MPF trustees at today’s ceremony to mark the trustees’ pledge to uphold the Governance Charter for MPF Trustees.
 
– Ends –
 
24 May 2018

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Last Review Date: 25/05/2018