7,400 low-income earners seek review over one-off MPF payouts
The Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority had by the end of last month received 7,400 requests from low-income earners wanting a review of their eligibility for a one-off HK$6,000 government payment into their superannuation funds.
The payment was announced in finance chief John Tsang Chun-wah's maiden budget last year. Employees in MPF or other retirement schemes who earned HK$10,000 or less in December 2007, January 2008 or February 2008, were eligible to receive the sum.
Responding to questions from legislators yesterday, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Chan Ka-keung said that of the 7,400 cases, 6,720 involved people who believed they were eligible but had not received notification of payment. Professor Chan said 680 cases involved those who considered they were ineligible but had received the payment.
The authority had completed investigations into 3,700 cases, of which 3,200 involved possibly eligible candidates who had not received a payment, he said, while 500 cases involved people who considered themselves to be ineligible and had received the payment.
Of the 3,200 cases, reviews had concluded that 1,100 were not eligible to receive the payment and reviews of the remaining 2,100 cases concluded that the applicants were eligible for a payment. Of the 500 people who thought they were ineligible, 320 were eligible for the cash and 180 were not. That meant that HK$12.6 million would need to be paid out and HK$1.08 million withdrawn from accounts where it had been incorrectly deposited, Professor Chan said.
Meanwhile, the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes (Amendment) Bill 2009 was passed in the Legislative Council yesterday. It will allow employees to transfer their MPF contribution to an MPF plan of their choice once a year.