MPF Enrolment and Contributions - Smart Tips
It is employers’ legal obligation under the MPF System to enrol new employees into the MPF scheme that the employers are participating. Except for exempt persons, employers should enrol both full-time and part-time employees who are at least 18 but under 65 years of age in an MPF scheme within the first 60 days of employment. The 60-day employment rule does not apply to casual employees in the construction and catering industries. (Please refer to the link “Enrolling Employees”)
When handling MPF contributions, employers should be mindful of the misconceptions listed in the link below to avoid employers’ payment being considered late or default. (Please refer to the document “Common Misconceptions in Handling MPF Contributions”
The MPFA takes enforcement actions against non-compliant employers who are found to have failed to make payment of MPF contributions timely, deducted employer’s contributions from an employee's pay, or failed to enrol their employees in an MPF scheme. These enforcement measures may include:
- Requesting employers to rectify the situation immediately
- Imposing a contribution surcharge of 5% on defaulting employers
- Filing a civil claim in court to recover mandatory contributions and surcharges in arrears
- Imposing financial penalties on non-compliant employers
- Prosecuting non-compliant employers or persons, including their officers, directors and partners
Employees may take the following steps to protect their MPF’s rights:
- Confirm that the employer had enrolled the employee into an MPF scheme.
The employee would receive documents from MPF trustee upon enrollment into an MPF scheme. You may learn more about the “MPF Documents Received by Scheme Members under Different Stages” on our website.
- Regularly check the MPF contribution records to confirm the employer has made contributions on time.
Under the law, the employer is required to provide an employee with a monthly MPF contribution record. You may learn more about the “Monthly Contribution Record” on our website.
If an employee suspects that his/her employer has failed to make contributions, he/she should first clarify with the employer or the trustee to avoid any misunderstanding. If the employer has indeed defaulted on contributions, the employee should contact MPFA immediately to lodge a complaint.
MPFA will investigate complaints and proactively inspect employers’ premises, and will take enforcement measures against non-compliant employers (including those who are found to have evaded payment of MPF contributions, deducted employer’s contributions from an employee's pay, or failed to enrol employees in an MPF scheme). You may learn more about the “Enforcement Measures and Penalties against Non-compliant Employers” on our website.
Apart from exempt persons, all SEPs aged 18 to 64 must enrol themselves into an MPF scheme within the first 60 days of being self-employed. SEPs are required to make contributions at a regular interval (the contribution amount is 5% of their relevant income and it is subject to the minimum and maximum relevant income levels). In addition, SEPs can opt to make mandatory contributions on a monthly or yearly basis.
If an SEP fails to enrol in an MPF scheme or pay contribution on time, the SEP is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.
Cessation of self-employment
If an SEP ceases to be self-employed (such as being employed by an employer), he / she must, notify his/her MPF trustee in writing the date of cessation on or before the next contribution day and pay the last contribution before the last day of the contribution period.
If an SEP fails to notify MPF trustee in writing of the date of cessation of self-employment, the SEP may be liable to a financial penalty (from $5,000 to $20,000 subject to any previous failure).
Alerts and Tips on Scams
The MPFA has recently received enquiries from scheme members who had received phone calls from persons claiming to be calling from the MPFA or eMPF Platform Company, inviting them for a meeting to introduce MPF products or documents and requesting them to provide their personal information.
- The MPFA and eMPF Platform Company never contact individual scheme members by phone to introduce MPF products/documents or request scheme members to provide their personal information or details of their MPF accounts over the phone;
- If scheme members receive a suspicious call or other forms of communication from someone claiming to be representative of the MPFA or eMPF Platform Company, call the MPFA hotline 2918 0102 to verify the identity of the caller or the authenticity of the message;
- Do not disclose any personal information to strangers;
- Remind your family and friends to stay alert against deception;
- If you suspect that you have fallen prey to fraud, please approach the Police immediately for assistance.
MPFA reminds MPF scheme members to be vigilant against unsolicited calls, text messages or social media posts from suspected crime syndicates that offer to help them make early withdrawal of MPF.
Some common features or malpractices perpetrated by the crime syndicates include:
- the person who contacts the scheme member is not a registered MPF intermediary. In some cases, the person might falsely claim to be a registered intermediary attached to a principal intermediary (PI) and offers to help the scheme member apply for early withdrawal of MPF;
- advising the scheme member to make a false statutory declaration in order to withdraw their MPF on the ground of permanent departure from Hong Kong;
- advising or assisting the scheme member to apply for withdrawal of MPF by submitting false supporting documents to the MPF trustee;
- charging a high percentage of the amount of MPF withdrawn by the scheme member as commission or handling fees; and
- persuading the scheme member to invest the withdrawn MPF into some suspicious overseas investment plan.
MPFA reminds scheme members not to fall prey to crime syndicates and risk breaching the law. Making a false declaration is a serious criminal offence that is punishable by imprisonment and fine. (Please refer to the press release "Jail sentence for false claim for MPF withdrawal").
To protect their interests, scheme members should:
- not disclose any personal information to any unknown third parties;
- if the identity of the intermediary is in doubt, check the MPFA’s register1 and contact the PI concerned to confirm the identity of the alleged intermediary;
- not sign on any blank or incomplete forms;
- obtain and keep a copy of all signed documents; and
- report any suspicious fraudulent activity to MPFA or the Police.
MPFA has reminded MPF trustees to stay vigilant in assessing claims for MPF withdrawal in order to detect possible false claims. MPFA will continue to work closely with the Police and frontline regulators (namely, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Insurance Authority and Securities and Futures Commission) to combat such crimes and malpractices.
Last but not least, scheme members might risk losing part or all of their retirement savings by making rash investment decisions under the influence of crime syndicates on illegitimate or unregulated investment products. MPF is a long-term savings scheme for retirement. Withdrawing MPF early will have an impact on the scheme member's retirement savings.
1 Public registers: https://www.mpfa.org.hk/en/info-centre/public-registers/subsidiary-intermediary
In order to further tackle scam calls in the name of MPF telemarketing, the MPFA has issued the Guidance Note on Conducting Sales by Unsolicited Calls (“Guidance Note”) to registered intermediaries. The Guidance Note aims at setting out the requirements and applicable measures relating to telemarketing, so as to facilitate the public to identify scam calls and guard against fraudsters. Scheme members can enquire with the caller about the source of their contact information, and make a request to remove their contact information from the principal intermediary’s call list.
Introduction to the Guidance Note
According to the requirements of the Guidance Note, principal intermediaries must provide a designated phone number and post it on their official website or social media platform, to facilitate the public in verifying the phone numbers and the identities of the callers. The caller conducting telemarketing should provide the called party his full name, his MPF registration number (if applicable), his principal intermediary, designated telephone number of his principal intermediary and purpose of the call.
Upon receiving the MPF telemarketing call, scheme members should pay attention to whether the caller has provided the following information as required by the Guidance Note:
- Full name of the caller;
- If the caller is an subsidiary intermediary, the MPF registration number of the caller;
- Name of the principal intermediary that authorized the making of the call;
- Purpose of the call; and
- Designated telephone number of the principal intermediary for verifying the identity of the caller.
If the caller fails to provide the abovementioned information, scheme members should be vigilant and call the designated telephone number of the principal intermediary to inquire and verify the identity of the caller. To facilitate scheme members in contacting the relevant principal intermediaries, scheme members could click here for the designated phone numbers of principal intermediaries1.
Furthermore, to protect your interests, scheme members should:
- not disclose any personal information to any unknown third parties;
- not sign on any blank or incomplete forms;
- obtain and keep copy of signed forms;
- if the identity of the intermediary is in doubt, check the MPFA’s register and contact the principal intermediary concerned to confirm the identity of the alleged intermediary; and
- report any suspicious fraudulent activity to the Police.
If in doubt, please call the MPFA hotline on 2918 0102 or Police for enquiries or visit Police's Anti-Deception Coordination Centre's website (www.adcc.gov.hk).
1. List of the designated telephone numbers of 20 principal intermediaries with the highest numbers of subsidiary intermediaries.
8 June 2023
This entity falsely claims on its website that it has a relationship with the MPFA. The MPFA does not have any relationship with this entity.
Public registers of entities approved by or registered with the MPFA can be found on the MPFA website (www.mpfa.org.hk).
Improper Acts of MPF Intermediaries
Scheme members should stay alert to the following possible improper acts and practices by MPF intermediaries:
- misuse a scheme member’s personal information obtained at meetings to carry out transfers of MPF without the member’s authorization;
- fail to explain clearly to a scheme member the contents and purposes of MPF forms that the scheme member has signed during meetings with the intermediary. As a consequence, some transfers not intended or authorized by the scheme member are done;
- conduct fraudulent acts, such as falsifying documents, forging a member’s signature, using the member’s information previously obtained to make another transfer and submit the forms to the trustee without the member’s authorization;
- impersonate a scheme member to call the trustee of an MPF scheme to obtain the member’s account information for the purpose of effecting MPF transfers;
- impersonate the representative of a government agency or public body (e.g. staff of MPFA) when approaching a scheme member;
- provide inaccurate or misleading information about MPF schemes or funds to scheme members;
- allow a scheme member to sign on a blank or incomplete form without clearly explaining the contents and purposes;
- fail to provide copies of the signed forms or documents to a scheme member after signing;
- fail to execute a scheme member’s instruction promptly and accurately or to alert the scheme member to any delay in execution; and
- use or provide a scheme member with marketing materials that have not been approved by the principal intermediary.