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Consolidating Personal Accounts

The number of personal accounts under the MPF System is climbing. It is a fact that, on average, every MPF scheme member has more than one personal account.

What causes you to have personal accounts?

Under the following circumstances, your MPF benefits will be put in a personal account:
  1. When you change jobs, the MPF benefits you accumulated during your former employment:
  • remain in the original scheme selected by your former employer; or
  • are transferred to another scheme of your own choice.
  1. When you exercise the transfer right under the Employee Choice Arrangement:
  • the MPF benefits derived from the employee mandatory contributions in your contribution account under current employment are transferred to another scheme of your own choice under a personal account.
When changing jobs, many employees tend to focus on their new employment and often forget about their MPF account under their previous employment. As a result, a new personal account is created every time they change jobs and this causes the number of personal accounts held by the employees to continue accumulating.

Tips: Lost track of how many personal accounts you have? Don’t worry, the MPFA maintains a register of all personal accounts under the MPF System. Click here to find out how to make an enquiry.

Making things simple

If you have multiple personal accounts, you will receive information from different trustees every now and then, including benefit statements, Fund Fact Sheets, updates on scheme information and other promotional materials. The more accounts you hold, the more materials you will receive, costing you time and effort to study the benefit statements and analyse your investment portfolio across different accounts. These inconveniences may dampen your drive to manage your accounts and even affect your retirement planning.

The key to MPF management is to make things SIMPLE. One of the best ways to achieve easier account management is to hold just one personal account. So if you are currently holding multiple personal accounts, now is the time to consolidate them!

Consolidate accounts in 3 steps

Consolidating personal accounts is easy. No matter how many personal accounts you have, you only need to fill in one form to do the job. Here are the 3 steps on consolidating accounts.

Step 1: Select trustee and scheme
Select a trustee and scheme of your choice. When choosing a trustee and scheme, you should consider four major factors: Products (Scheme and Fund), Services, Fees and Charges, and Personal Factors. For details, please refer to the “FAQs on MPF Investment” booklet.

Step 2: Fill in the Form
You only need to fill in a single form specially designed for account consolidation, the “Scheme Member’s Request for Account Consolidation Form” [Form MPF(S)-P(C)], and submit it to your selected trustee. In other words, you can consolidate all your accounts in one go! Before filling in this form, please refer to the “How to Consolidate MPF Personal Account” leaflet.

Form MPF(S)-P(C) can be downloaded here.

Reminder: If you have voluntary contributions in your personal accounts, such contributions must be transferred to the scheme of your choice if Form MPF(S)-P(C) is used for consolidation. If you would rather withdraw your voluntary contributions while consolidating your accounts, please use Form MPF(S)-P(M) instead. The form can be downloaded here. Remember to submit the form to the new trustee but not to MPFA.

Step 3: Check relevant documents
Once your consolidation is completed, you will receive a “Transfer Statement” from your original trustee and a “Transfer Confirmation” from your new trustee. Please check the information on them carefully to make sure it is correct. If you have any doubts, please contact your trustee.

Contact Trustees
If you wish to contact trustees to make enquiries about the above steps on consolidating your personal accounts or your personal accounts information, please refer to Trustee Contact.

Friendly reminders

Be aware of a “sell low, buy high” scenario
The process of consolidation of accounts involves fund transaction. The original trustee has to sell the fund units in your account, and the new trustee will then buy fund units according to your instructions. During this selling and buying process, there will be a time-lag of around 1 to 2 weeks where your MPF benefits will not be invested in any fund. As fund prices may change during this period due to market fluctuations, you may be subject to the “sell high, buy low” or “sell low, buy high” scenarios.

Be aware of the risk of losing your guarantee entitlement
If you have chosen to invest in a guaranteed fund in your existing scheme, please pay special attention! A guaranteed fund generally provides a capital guarantee or a minimum rate of return, subject to a set of conditions being fulfilled. In other words, scheme members must meet certain conditions such as a minimum “lock-in period”, i.e. a fixed period of time in which the member must invest in such a fund in order to receive the guarantee. If you are currently investing in a guaranteed fund, check the qualifying conditions in details and be sure you do meet the conditions before consolidating your accounts, or else your entitlement to the guarantee may be disqualified. For details of individual guaranteed funds and their qualifying conditions, please refer to the MPF scheme brochures provided by the trustees. The brochure can be downloaded from trustees’ websites. Please contact your trustees for details.

Be aware of how the transferred-in benefits will be invested
If you wish to transfer your accrued benefits from one MPF scheme to another, please be aware of how the transfrred-in benefits will be invested. In general, the transferred-in benefits will be invested according to the Default Investment Strategy ("DIS") if you have not given any investment instructions for the transferred-in benefits of the account to the new trustee. Please approach your new trustee to seek clarification, where necessary.

Be aware of the requirements for personal account opening
If you wish to transfer your MPF benefits to another scheme of your own choice in which you do not have a personal account, you need to enrol in that scheme in advance.  Please obtain an enrolment form from the trustee and be reminded to indicate your investment portfolio, i.e. the types of funds they wish to invest their MPF contributions into, provide your personal particulars, and complete a self-certification which includes tax residency (i.e. declaring whether you are a tax resident outside Hong Kong) in the form. Please contact your trustee for details.

Note: The Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No.2) Ordinance 2019 was gazetted on 1 March 2019 and the requirements relating to Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (AEOI) apply to MPF schemes starting from 1 January 2020.  For all new MPF accounts open on or after 1 January 2020, the account holder (including employee and self-employed person) is required to complete a self-certification which includes tax residency (i.e. declaring whether he/she is a tax resident outside Hong Kong). The account opening procedures could not be completed by the trustee if the account holder fails to provide the self-certification.

Common misconceptions

The more personal accounts I have, the more fees I will have to pay.
It is true that for every personal account that you hold, administrative fees will be charged by the trustee of the scheme. However, that does not mean that you will pay more in administrative fees if you have two personal accounts than you would if you had just one. The fees charged by the trustees are largely calculated based on a percentage of the amount of benefits in your account rather than a fixed sum. Having multiple personal accounts therefore does not necessarily mean you are paying more fees. Nonetheless, consolidating your personal accounts does bring other benefits, including less time you have to spend on managing your accounts and less mails you receive from the trustees, making it easier for your to manage your MPF.

The more personal accounts I have, the higher the chance that the account balance will diminish over time.
It is a common misconception that administrative fees charged to a personal account will slowly eat up its balance, as personal accounts do not receive new contributions regularly. The key factors which determine whether the balance of your MPF account will diminish, for both personal accounts and contribution accounts, are the administration fees charged and the investment return of your chosen funds. As long as the funds you choose yield a positive return (net of fees), your account balance will only increase, no matter how many accounts you have.

Is consolidating a must?
There is no hard and fast rule as to how many personal accounts a scheme member should have. It is, after all, your personal decision. But to many employees, unless they consider their existing investment in different funds under different schemes suit their own needs, why not consider consolidating accounts into one? This prevents the number of accounts from increasing and makes managing your accounts much simpler and easier.