Basic Requirements for Exempted Schemes


Exemption from the ORSO may be allowed for offshore schemes registered or approved by a recognized overseas authority (section 7(4)(a)).

From 26 June 2020 onwards, no exemption certificate is to be issued to schemes with not more than either 10% or 50 of their members, whichever is less, being Hong Kong permanent identity card holders (section 7(4)(b) or (c)), unless the MPFA receives the applications for exemption before 26 June 2020.

An ORSO scheme granted an exemption certificate must comply with the requirements of the ORSO which include (but are not limited to):
 

  1. Information to be Provided Annually


    The relevant employer of an exempted scheme shall, for each period of 12 months beginning on the date of the exemption certificate or an anniversary of the date, give the MPFA an annual report which consists of the following documents:


    a. an annual return;
    b. a written statement on ongoing compliance with the employment based criterion ("employment based statement"); and
    c.
    (i)  for schemes exempted under secion 7(4)(a), documentary evidence on the validity of the registration or approval with an overseas authority ("documentary evidence"); or
    (ii)  for schemes exempted under section 7(4)(b) or (c), a written statement of the total number of scheme members and the number of members who were Hong Kong permanent identity card holders on the date of the statement (“membership statement”).


     The annual report shall be provided within one month after the expiration of the 12-month period or such longer period as the MPFA may allow.

    If the date of the exemption certificate or an anniversary of the date falls before the commencement date of the Amendment Ordinance, i.e. 26 June 2020, no annual return or employment based statement needs to be given in respect of the 12-month period beginning on the date of the exemption certificate or the anniversary. The relevant employer needs only provide the documentary evidence or membership statement for that period. The documentary evidence or membership statement shall be provided within 14 days after the expiration of that period or such longer period as the MPFA may allow.

  2. Notification of Certain Changes


    The relevant employer shall notify the MPFA of any changes of the relevant employer / representative employer, scheme name, name and address of relevant employer (in a form specified by the MPFA) within one month of such changes.

  3. Settlement of Periodic Fees


    The relevant employer shall pay an annual fee of $940 for an exempted scheme. This should be paid within one month after the annual due date, i.e. the last day of such period of 12 months during which the exemption certificate continues to be valid and beginning on the first or any subsequent anniversary of the date of the exemption certificate. If the fee is not paid within one month after the due date, a surcharge equal to the amount of the unpaid fee will be imposed.


 

For Exempted Schemes with an MPF Exemption Certificate

 

In addition to the above, an MPF exempted ORSO exempted scheme (i.e. an ORSO exempted scheme granted with an MPF exemption certificate) must also comply with the following:


  1. Option Offer


    Before the commencement of the MPF System, employers who applied for an MPF exemption certificate were required to provide a one-time option to existing ORSO scheme members to remain in the ORSO scheme or become members of an MPF scheme. Since the commencement of the MPF System, these employers are required to provide a one-time option to new eligible employees (if applicable) to choose between the ORSO scheme and MPF scheme.

  2. Withdrawal of MPF Exemption Certificate


    An application shall be made by the relevant/representative employer in the prescribed format (i.e. Form WD-EE).

  3. Others


    The relevant employer is also required to:


    1. display the exemption certificate at all times in a conspicuous position at the relevant employer's principal office in Hong Kong. If there is no such office, it must be displayed at each premise where a member of the ORSO scheme to which the certificate relates is employed; and
    2. provide each member under his or her employment with a copy of the exemption certificate.

Last Revision Date: 26/06/2020