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Basic Requirements for Exempted Schemes

Exemption from ORSO may be allowed for:

  • offshore schemes registered or approved by a recognized overseas authority; or
  • schemes with not more than either 10% or 50 of their members, whichever is less, who are Hong Kong permanent identity card holders.

An ORSO scheme which is granted an exemption certificate must comply with the requirements of ORSO, which include (but are not limited to):

  1. Information to be Provided Annually

    The relevant employer of an exempted scheme shall provide annually to the Registrar-

    1. where the exemption was granted on grounds of a limited number of members who are permanent Hong Kong identity card holders, a written statement of the total number of scheme members on the date of the statement and the number of such members who were on that date Hong Kong permanent identity card holders; or
    2. where the exemption was granted by virtue of the offshore scheme's overseas registration or approval by an overseas authority which performs functions generally analogous to the Registrar, documentary evidence such as a copy of the latest contribution statement made by the relevant employer, in respect of the scheme as regards the validity of the scheme's overseas registration or approval during that year.


    These documents must be provided within 14 days after the expiration of the 12-month period or such longer period as the Registrar may allow.

  2. Notification of Certain Changes

    The relevant employer shall notify the Registrar of any changes of the relevant employer / representative employer, scheme name, name and address of relevant employer (in a form specified by the Registrar) within one month of such changes.

  3. Settlement of Periodic Fees

    The relevant employer shall pay an annual fee of $940 for an exempted scheme. This should be paid within one month after the annual due date, which means the last day of such period of 12 months during which the exemption certificate continues to be valid and beginning on the first or any subsequent anniversary of the date of the exemption certificate. If the fee is not paid within one month after the due date, a surcharge equal to the amount of the unpaid fee will be imposed.

For more details, please click to view A Guide to the Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance.


For Exempted Schemes with an MPF Exemption Certificate


In addition to the above, an MPF exempted ORSO exempted scheme (i.e. an ORSO exempted scheme granted with an MPF exemption certificate) must also comply with the following:

  1. Option Offer

    Before the commencement of the MPF System, employers who had applied for an MPF exemption certificate were required to provide a one-time option to existing ORSO scheme members to remain in the ORSO scheme or become members of an MPF scheme. Since the commencement of the MPF System, these employers are required to provide a one-time option to new eligible employees (if applicable) to choose between the ORSO scheme and an MPF scheme.

  2. Withdrawal of the MPF Exemption Certificate

    An application shall be made by the relevant/representative employer in the prescribed format (i.e. Form WD-EE).

  3. Others

    The relevant employer is also required to:

    1. display the exemption certificate at all times in a conspicuous position at the relevant employer's principal office in Hong Kong. If there is no such office, it must be displayed at each premise where a member of the ORSO scheme to which the certificate relates is employed; and
    2. provide each member under his or her employment with a copy of the exemption certificate.

Last Revision Date: 01/01/2018