31 October 2000

To : All Approved Trustees of Registered Schemes

Dear Sirs,

Non-refusal of Scheme Applicants in relation to Employee Enrolment and Data Collection

Enrolment of Employees in MPF Schemes

It has recently come to our attention that some trustees of MPF schemes have refused to enroll the relevant employees of an employer because the employees have not given consent to join the schemes. As you may recall, in the registration of your provident fund scheme(s), the Authority has imposed a condition that the trustee of the scheme(s) shall not refuse an application for membership of the scheme(s) made by or on behalf of any relevant employee or self-employed person or former self-employed person. It is the view of the Authority that a trustee does not legally need the consent of a relevant employee to enroll that employee into an MPF scheme.

Under the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (Cap. 485), an employer is obliged to enroll his relevant employees in an MPF scheme within certain time limits. The employer should provide the trustee with the necessary information on those employees for enrolment purposes, regardless of whether the employees concerned have given their consent for enrolment.Under the above-mentioned scheme registration condition, the trustee cannot refuse such applications made by the employer on behalf of his relevant employees and must enroll those employees into the scheme. As regards the choice of investment option by the employee, it is noted that the governing rules of an MPF scheme provide for a default option for the investment of contributions made by or on behalf of scheme members who have not indicated their choice in this respect.

Data Collection

The Authority has also come across some participation or membership application forms requesting scheme applicants to give consent to the trustee to use the personal data of their employees or themselves for purposes not related to the operation of the MPF scheme concerned. It should be noted that this request is outside the ambit of the MPF legislation. Scheme applicants have the right to refuse to give such consent and no trustee should refuse the applications on such ground. Furthermore, you are reminded that in gathering personal information from scheme applicants and in the usage of such information, you must observe the requirements under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486). If you are in doubt of the requirements concerning data privacy, you may wish to seek guidance from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data.

For your information, we are also preparing a letter to be issued to all employers to make clear to them the view of the Authority on the above aspects.

Should you have any queries on the above, please do not hesitate to contact your case officer.

Yours sincerely,

(Raymond Tam)
Executive Director
Services Supervision

Last Revision Date: 17/10/2014