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).
Making False Claims for Early Withdrawal of MPF
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 benefits.
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 member to make a false statutory declaration in order to withdraw their MPF benefits on the ground of permanent departure from Hong Kong;
- charging a high percentage of the amount of MPF benefits withdrawn by the member as commission or handling fees; and
- persuading the member to invest the withdrawn MPF benefits 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;
- report any suspicious fraudulent activity to a law enforcement agency such as the Police; and
- not sign on any blank or incomplete forms.
MPFA will continue to work closely with the Police, frontline regulators (namely, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Insurance Authority and Securities and Futures Commission) and MPF trustees 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 benefits early will have an impact on the member's retirement savings.
1 Public registers: https://www.mpfa.org.hk/en/info-centre/public-registers/subsidiary-intermediary
- 正確認識 ─ 以「永久離港」為由提早提取MPF
- Beware of scammers' inducement to make false declaration for withdrawal of MPF
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.