Coverage and Enrolment
- What is a “regular employee”?
- I am employed in Hong Kong by a local employer, but they have sent me to work in the Mainland on a temporary basis. Am I covered by the MPF System?
- I am an expatriate employed by a Hong Kong company to work here in Hong Kong. Am I covered by the MPF System?
If you are a member of an overseas retirement scheme, or if your employment visa allows you to remain in Hong Kong for 13 months or less, then you are exempt from joining an MPF scheme.
In the event that your employment visa is subsequently renewed, bringing your total continuous period of stay in Hong Kong to over 13 months, you would cease to be exempt starting the first day after the end of the 13-month period. Your employer will then be required to enrol you in an MPF scheme and make mandatory contributions accordingly.
- I am a part-time employee of a trading company working for less than 18 hours a week. Am I covered by the MPF System?
- I am a director of a limited company. Am I covered by the MPF System?
- If I have more than one job at the same time, do each of my employers have to enrol me in an MPF scheme?
- Can I choose an MPF scheme and request my employer to enrol me in that scheme?
- How do I know whether my employer has enrolled me in an MPF scheme?
With effect from 1 August 2015, the notice of participation replaces the notice of acceptance and membership certificate.
- Apart from the notice of participation, what other documents will I receive from the scheme trustee after I become a scheme member?
a general description of the scheme, including:
- the fees and charges payable under the scheme;
- the particulars of the constituent funds of the scheme; and
- the name and contact details of the person to whom enquiries about contributions and related matters may be made;
an Annual Benefit Statement containing information about:
- the income and expenditure of your account (including contributions, transfers and transactions);
- the account balance and accruals; and
- the extent to which the contributions are vested as well as the gains and losses associated with your account over the relevant financial period; and
- Fund Fact Sheets, which must be issued at least twice per each financial year, summarizing key information including particulars and performance of the related funds.
- Are directors' fees considered relevant income?
A director who is not involved in the daily operation or management of the company is an office holder only, and not an employee. His director's fee is his remuneration for holding the office of a director and is therefore not relevant income.
- I received a bonus after terminating service with my employer. Would the bonus be counted as relevant income? If yes, how should I make contributions in respect of the bonus?
- Can I pay contributions in excess of the mandatory contribution?
- Can my employer withhold my accrued benefits derived from the employer's portion of the mandatory contributions if I am dismissed due to misconduct, fraud or dishonesty?
- Do I have the right to choose the investment funds available under my MPF scheme?
You can make your own choice according to your investment objectives, personal circumstances and future plans. For example, a scheme member approaching retirement age may consider choosing fund(s) with lower risks, while a younger member may consider more aggressive fund(s) with potentially higher investment returns.
- After I have selected my initial investment portfolio, can I change my mind later?
- How do I know if the investment managers of my MPF scheme have properly invested my contributions?
In addition, there are several layers of oversight built into the MPF System to ensure that trustees and investment managers are complying with the requirements of the MPF Schemes Ordinance:
|1)||MPF trustees are required to closely monitor their appointed investment managers, and to file regular returns with MPFA;|
|2)||All investment managers must be properly licensed by and registered with the Securities and Futures Commission; and|
|3)||MPFA conducts regular on-site inspections to prevent non-compliance and educates employers and trustees about their obligations under the law.|
- What measures are there in the MPF System to safeguard my accrued benefits?
Stringent approval and registration criteria
To qualify for registration as MPF schemes, provident fund schemes must meet certain prescribed requirements and standards, and only companies meeting stringent criteria on capital adequacy, sufficient presence/control in Hong Kong, fitness and properness, etc., are approved as MPF trustees to manage these schemes.
Scheme trustees must submit returns, financial statements and internal control reports regularly to MPFA. MPFA also conducts field inspections, special audits and investigations, and can impose sanctions on trustees who have breached the relevant requirements.
As a "safety net" to provide additional security and protection to scheme members, scheme trustees must take out adequate insurance to indemnify scheme members against losses that the members could incur as a result of the administration of the scheme by the trustees or their service providers. If this indemnity insurance is insufficient to cover a member's loss, the member may lodge a claim for compensation from the Compensation Fund.
- How do I know how much benefits I have accrued in my scheme?
Your scheme trustee is required to provide you with an Annual Benefit Statement within three months from the end of the scheme's financial year. The Statement shows:
- the income and expenditure of your account (including contributions, transfers and transactions);
- the account balance and accruals;
- the extent to which the contributions are vested; and
- the gains and losses associated with your account over the relevant financial period.
- How do I handle my accrued benefits when changing jobs?
- transfer your accrued benefits to your contribution account under the MPF scheme of your new employer; or
- transfer your accrued benefits to an existing personal account that you hold.
You may find more information about this subject here.
- If I have not given any instructions to the MPF trustee on how to handle my accrued benefits since the cessation of my previous job, how would they handle the accrued benefits in my account?
If the trustee of your scheme does not receive instructions on how to handle your accrued benefits within three months after receiving the notice of your cessation of employment from your former employer, the accrued benefits will automatically be transferred from the contribution account to a personal account under the scheme. They will continue to be invested in the same funds you chose in the original contribution account.
You may subsequently change your fund choice or investment portfolio by giving new instructions to the trustee. Please contact your trustee for details.
- Should I consolidate my MPF personal accounts if I have too many?
- If I forget how many MPF personal accounts I have, what can I do?
The MPFA maintains a centralized database of members' personal accounts and can tell you whether you have any personal accounts. Simply visit an MPFA office with your identification document (e.g. Hong Kong Identity Card) and we will present your report to you on the spot. You can also download the request form here, and mail or fax the completed form (with a copy of your Hong Kong Identity Card) to us. We will send the report to you by mail. You may find more information here.
- How do I transfer my accrued benefits from one scheme to another upon termination of employment?
- Is there any charge for the transfer of my accrued benefits?
- How do I know if my accrued benefits have been properly transferred?
- Can I transfer my accrued benefits if there is a default contribution to be settled by my former employer?
- How do I withdraw my accrued benefits?
If you have reached the age of 65, you may present a copy of your Hong Kong Identity Card and a completed Claim Form for Payment of Accrued Benefits on ground of Attaining the Retirement Age of 65 or Early Retirement (Form MPF(S)-W(R)) to your scheme trustee and request withdrawal of your accrued benefits. You can withdraw your accrued benefits in a lump sum or by instalments. In general, your trustee should release the accrued benefits to you within 30 days upon receipt of the required documents from you.
The form can be obtained from your trustee.
- I want to withdraw my accrued benefits but my Hong Kong Identity Card only shows the year but not the exact month and day of my birth. When will I be regarded as having attained the age of 65?
- a copy of your travelling document showing the day and month of birth such as passport or Home Visit Permit; or
- a statutory declaration of your date of birth; or
- a copy of your HKID with the day and month of the issue date circled (i.e. using the day and month of the issue date as the day and month of your birth).
- Can I withdraw my accrued benefits in an MPF scheme if I am in need of money?
As a scheme member, you are not allowed to withdraw your accrued benefits until you reach the age of 65. Early withdrawal is only allowed under the following specific circumstances:
- early retirement at age 60 or above;
- permanent departure from Hong Kong;
- total incapacity;
- terminal illness;
- a small balance of $5,000 or less; or
- If I withdraw my accrued benefits at the age of 62 because of early retirement, am I allowed to enter the workforce again?
- If I withdraw my accrued benefits due to total incapacity, can I re-enter the workforce by engaging in a different type of employment?
- If I withdraw my accrued benefits because I am leaving Hong Kong permanently, can I come back to work in Hong Kong again in the future?
- Where can I get a list of diseases that are covered by “terminal illness”?
Offsetting of Long Service Payment (LSP) and Severance Payment (SP) against MPF contributions
- What does offsetting of MPF mean?
- Is the amount that an employer can use to offset LSP/SP the actual amount of contributions paid by the employer or the accrued benefits (i.e. contributions and investment returns) derived from the employer’s contributions?
- If I were laid off and my employer paid SP to me, can he withdraw all the accrued benefits in my MPF account?
The above arrangement is also applicable to LSP. Please click here for more details on the LSP/SP offsetting arrangement.
- If after offsetting there is a remaining balance in the accrued benefits derived from the employer’s contributions, will the amount be retained in the employee’s MPF account or returned to the employer?
- If an employer makes voluntary contributions for his employee, can the voluntary contributions be used for offsetting LSP/SP as well?
- If an employer paid an amount of LSP being more than what is required under the Employment Ordinance, can he also offset the amount in excess from the employee’s MPF account?
- If an employer has to pay an SP of $70,000 to an employee and the accrued benefits derived from the employer’s contributions in that employee’s account total $62,000, should the employer simply pay the difference of $8,000 to the employee or should he pay $70,000 in full to the employee first and then apply for offsetting with the trustee?
If the employer has not fully paid LSP/SP to his employee, the employee may apply for withdrawing the outstanding sum from the accrued benefits derived from the employer’s contributions in his/her MPF account. The trustee may request the employee to provide supporting document proving his/her entitlement to an outstanding LSP/SP. For details of the offsetting procedures and the supporting documents required, please contact your trustee.
Please click here for more details on the LSP/SP offsetting arrangement.
- What will MPFA do if my employer does not make contributions for me?
If your employer does not pay the required mandatory contributions for you, your MPF trustee is required to report the default to MPFA (not applicable to casual employees). Upon receiving the trustee's report, MPFA:
- will impose a contribution surcharge on the employer;
- will pursue the recovery of the outstanding contributions and surcharges on behalf of the members;
- may initiate civil proceedings to recover the default; and
- may also pursue criminal prosecution against the non-complying employer.
You may find more information here.
- How can I recover contributions in arrears when my employer has become insolvent?
If your employer has become insolvent, MPFA may collect relevant information from you and file claims with the Insolvency Officer or liquidator in accordance with the insolvency proceedings in the hope of recovering the default contributions on your behalf. Upon receiving the sum from the liquidator, MPFA will pay the amount to the MPF trustee for allocation to the relevant employees' MPF accounts.
In distributing the money from the realization of assets of an insolvent employer, debts shall be paid in such order of priority as stipulated by law. Unpaid MPF contributions, in the distribution of the property of the company, shall be paid in priority (with other preferential payments) to all other debts.
- What happens to my accrued benefits if my employer's business is being wound up?