The MPFA alerts members of the public to the inappropriate marketing of occupational retirement schemes under the Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance (Cap. 426, Laws of Hong Kong) (ORSO schemes) as an investment vehicle open to persons who are not employees of the relevant employers of the ORSO schemes.
Members of the public (local or overseas) should note the following:
- An ORSO scheme is a retirement scheme set up voluntarily by an employer for providing benefits to its employees.
- An ORSO scheme must be employment-based and all members under the ORSO scheme must be *eligible persons.
- An ORSO scheme cannot be marketed to members of the public for investment or enrolment.
- You can conduct a search on the ORSO Schemes Register for the particulars of an ORSO scheme, including the name of the employer.
The Occupational Retirement Schemes (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 (Amendment Ordinance) has come into operation upon gazettal on 26 June 2020. The Amendment Ordinance provides the Registrar of ORSO schemes (i.e. the MPFA) with enhanced powers to ensure that ORSO schemes are genuinely employment-based retirement schemes. It also sets out requirements to help improving the governance of ORSO schemes, thereby preventing the ORSO schemes from being misused.
Under the Amendment Ordinance, the MPFA, acting as the Registrar of ORSO schemes, has enhanced powers to conduct inspection and investigation and take action against any non-compliance.
If you are invited to enrol or invest in an ORSO scheme the employer of which is not your employer, you should refuse the invitation and where appropriate report the incident to the MPFA via our hotline (2918 0102) or email (email@example.com). If in doubt, you should seek independent professional advice.
* Note : Meaning of eligible person (s.2A of the Amendment Ordinance):
- An eligible person, in relation to an occupational retirement scheme, is an individual who is entitled or prospectively entitled to benefits under the scheme by virtue of—
- the individual’s employment (whether past or present) by the relevant employer of the scheme; or
- an agreement (transfer agreement)—
- made between—
- the relevant employer of the scheme; and
- the relevant employer of another occupational retirement scheme (original scheme) of which the individual was a member,
whether or not the individual is a party to the agreement; and
- made as a result of any company amalgamation, restructuring, joint venture, or any other business transaction of a similar nature, conducted in good faith between the two employers.
- However, for an individual to be an eligible person because of an entitlement by virtue of a transfer agreement, the individual must have been a member of the original scheme by virtue of being an individual described in subsection (I) or (III) in relation to the original scheme.
- Also, an eligible person is an individual having an interest in the estate of a deceased individual described in subsection (I).