Under the booming trend of digital transformation, the pension industry has to catch up with the fast-evolving world by providing advanced, convenient digital services to the public. The MPFA was entrusted by the Government at the end of 2018 to design, build and operate an eMPF Platform to standardize, streamline and automate the MPF scheme administration process, to help reduce paper consumption and improve efficiency.
Developed in 2000, the MPF System has always relied mainly on paper cheques and reports as the backbone of the System. Even now, most MPF transactions are paper-based and administered through various scheme administration platforms operated by individual trustees. Over the years, these decentralized operations, together with a number of cumbersome administration processes and a high volume of paper-based transactions, have resulted in high administration costs for the MPF System.
For employers, the complicated administration processes also incurred a large amount of paper work, resulting in high operating costs. In 2018, the MPFA issued payment notices to over 200,000 employers who had delayed or defaulted on contributions, resulting in $60 million in surcharges. Eighty per cent of them were micro-enterprises with less than 10 staff. Manpower in SMEs is already very tight, and it is not uncommon for their employees to assume multiple roles. The extra duty of handling the relevant MPF contribution procedures adds to their workload and increases the risk of human error.
The implementation of the eMPF Platform will replace the existing cumbersome enrolment procedure, like filling and signing paper forms and manual submission of documents. With the eMPF Platform, employers will only need to input the basic employee information and set up new accounts for them. Enrollment in MPF scheme and make contributions will then be made electronically. The eMPF Platform will also make it easier for employers to offer multiple scheme choices to employees and provide them with better retirement protection.
The MPFA is working at full steam to develop the eMPF Platform with the target of launching it in phases starting in 2022 making the MPF System faster, simpler, better and cheaper benefitting all stakeholders. Before the platform is in place, employers should make good use of the electronic services and tools provided by the trustees, so that they can be better prepared for digital transformation. This will also help them enhance the accuracy and efficiency of overall MPF administration while helping the environment by using less paper.
- Save time enrolling new employees in MPF schemes
- Save time by making contributions electronically
- Offer more scheme choices to employees
- More payment methods to make contributions on a 24/7 basis
- Avoid penalties due to non-compliance
- Create a level playing field for the industry
- Move towards a paperless operating environment for the MPF