$440m in idle MPF accounts

Local | Daphne Li 11 Feb 2019

More than 240,000 MPF accounts are idle because employers failed to complete information during registration, says the chairman of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority, David Wong Yau-kar.

Wong wrote on his blog that there are some 245,000 incomplete MPF accounts involving a total amount of HK$440 million.

He said some employers failed to complete information during registration, which is commonly seen in the construction and catering industries as they have higher labor transition.

Wong said some workers may not be aware of the existing MPF accounts and cannot get back the money.

To help them, the authority has launched the Industry Schemes, especially designed for "casual employees" from the two industries where people work on a day-to-day basis or for a fixed period of less than 60 days.

Industry Schemes aims to bring convenience to workers and cut down on administrative costs. The registrations for "casual employee cards" between 2009 and 2018 have surged from 310,000 to more than 600,000.

After joining the Industry Schemes, employers are not required to switch to another scheme when they change jobs within the two industries, as long as their previous and new employers have registered with the same scheme.

Wong appealed to workers to open casual employee accounts under the MPF Industry Schemes and get a card to ease account management.

The authority has received complaints from casual workers about employers failing to make contributions or apply for the MPF scheme.

Wong shared a case of a construction worker whose employer did not register an MPF account and make any mandatory contribution for more than a decade.

Wong said all scheme members, whether full-time, part-time, casual or self-employed, should review their MPF account plans for retirement.

The authority has reminded some 23,600 employers to join the MPF scheme and cooperate with unions to promote the scheme.

Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Luk Chung-hung said MPF trustees have to bear the most responsibility and tighten up their work in going after the incomplete applications.

daphne.li@singtaocorp.com

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