Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF)

Little interest in MPF portability scheme, according to CTU survey

Many are unaware they will be able to choose where to invest their contributions. And most have no plans to do so, according to a survey

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2012, 3:19am

Many Hongkongers do not know about and are not interested in a new scheme to move their Mandatory Provident Fund contributions to a service provider of their choice, a survey found.

A study conducted this month by the Confederation of Trade Unions found that of 454 workers polled, 21 per cent had never heard of the new MPF semi-portability plan.

Seventy-nine per cent had heard of the scheme, with many saying they were aware it would be implemented tomorrow, but they generally did not know much else about it.

The CTU survey also found that of those who had heard of the scheme, only 18 people said they would immediately select a new service provider for their MPF contributions. Of those polled, 120 said they would consider doing so in the future.

CTU policy researcher Poon Man-hon said the main reason workers were not interested in the new arrangement was that they had already lost confidence in the MPF scheme as a whole.

"Some don't think they can make more money by changing to a new service provider."

Poon related the case of a worker who in October 2010 had HK$25,000 in his MPF account, and found out recently that this total had not changed in the intervening two years.

"Some workers just don't have confidence in the scheme any more," he said.

Poon added that although some workers expressed interested in the new plan, many of them did not plan to take part in it, saying there were just too many service providers to choose from.

He criticised the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority for not doing enough to promote the new scheme.

The CTU survey also revealed that workers knew little about even existing MPF arrangements. Only 10 per cent of those polled said they knew how much they were paying in management fees, and only 21 per cent knew how much they had made through their MPF investment.

Under the new scheme, the city's 2.5 million workers can transfer their accumulated contributions to a new provider of their choice - such as a bank or other financial services firm - once a year. But the employers' contributions would remain with the original provider.

The transfer process will take between six and eight weeks.