Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF)

Hong Kong pension regulator unveils cost-cutting plan following criticism

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 July, 2014, 4:55am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 July, 2014, 6:39am

The city's pension regulator has cut down its headcount and may move to a cheaper location after a lawmaker criticised the high cost of its operations.

Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Chan Ka-keung unveiled the cost-cutting plan of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA) in a written reply to questions from legislator Paul Tse Wai-chun.

"Both the government and the MPFA are mindful of the need of efficient use of public money and expenditure control. The headcount of the MPFA for 2014-15 has been reduced by 4 per cent as compared with the previous year," Chan said.

"Moreover, the MPFA is currently reviewing its accommodation strategy, including the location of its various offices."

Chan said the four offices of the MPFA were in Kowloon West, Central, Kwun Tong and Kwai Fong to make it convenient to provide services for the public.

Total rent and related expenses stood at HK$65 million a year, representing 13.6 per cent of the MPFA's total expenditures.

Tse, in his written questions to Chan, said the MPFA now employed 700 staff with an average salary of HK$400,000 each while the top five executives were earning HK$3 million each.

The lawmaker argued that the costs were too high and asked why the MPFA was renting expensive office space in places like the International Commerce Centre.

Meanwhile, MPF provider Principal Trust Company (Asia) yesterday reduced the fees of its Hong Kong equity fund to 1.35 per cent, from 1.75 per cent.

"We believe that the reduction in the management fee will directly benefit our members," said Art Bacci, chief executive of Principal Trust.