Skip to Content

False declaration on permanent departure is a crime

False declaration on permanent departure is a crime

Making a false claim for early withdrawal of MPF on the grounds of permanent departure from Hong Kong is a criminal offence

Scheme members are free to withdraw their MPF when they reach the age of 65. Under certain special circumstances, scheme members may withdraw their MPF before 65. One of those circumstances is when scheme members depart from Hong Kong permanently to reside elsewhere with no intention of returning for employment or resettling in Hong Kong as a permanent resident. When applying for early withdrawal of MPF on the grounds of permanent departure from Hong Kong, scheme member must make a statutory declaration and submit evidence and documents satisfactory to the trustee that the scheme member is permitted to reside in a place other than Hong Kong.

The MPFA would like to remind scheme members that it is a criminal offence to make a false or misleading statement to trustees for early withdrawal of MPF. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 and one year’s imprisonment on the first conviction, and to a fine of $200,000 and two years’ imprisonment on each subsequent conviction.


Proactive enforcement actions by the MPFA

In addition to the public filing complaints to the MPFA, trustees will also notify the MPFA when they receive withdrawal requests from scheme members on the grounds of permanent departure from Hong Kong in order to verify if the scheme member has previously been paid MPF on the same grounds. The MPFA will also proactively conduct sample checks, investigate suspicious cases and take enforcement actions. During the five-year period from 2013-14 to 2018-19, following MPFA’s investigation, over 400 scheme members who made false declarations to withdraw MPF on the grounds of permanent departure from Hong Kong were convicted.

The MPFA calls on scheme members through TV programmes to take note of the above and refrain from unlawful conduct.


Stay alert to crime syndicates who abet scheme members in making false statutory declarations

Apart from proactive investigations into suspicious cases, the MPFA also unearths suspected non-compliance cases through different sources. The MPFA once uncovered a crime syndicate, allegedly representing a finance company, claiming they could help scheme members withdraw their MPF benefits. The syndicate did so by abetting scheme members in making false statutory declarations on the grounds of permanent departure from Hong Kong and in return charged a commission or handling fee. Please refer to the prosecution cases for details of the case.

The MPFA alerts scheme members not to fall prey to these syndicates and risk breaching the law. They should also be vigilant against unsolicited calls and not to disclose personal information to any unknown third party. The MPFA maintains close contact with the Police and trustees and will continue to work with them to combat such crimes.


Early withdrawal of MPF will affect scheme members’ retirement protection

The MPF System is set up to help scheme members accumulate savings during employment and plan ahead for retirement. The MPF is a long-term investment. While the monthly contributions a scheme member makes may not seem much, the accumulation over the years coupled with the compounding effect can provide scheme members with extra savings for their retirement. The compounding effect refers to the returns generated from the principal being reinvested with the principal again to generate even more return. As early withdrawal of MPF greatly undermines the compounding effect, the MPFA reminds scheme members not to make early withdrawal of their MPF lightly in order to avoid affecting their retirement savings.



Last Revision Date: 25/06/2019