The Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) is a compulsory pension fund designed by the Hong Kong government as a major protection scheme for the aged and retired residents.  Most employees and their employers are required to contribute monthly. 

MPF doesn't work for the little guy

Hong Kong is probably the only developed economy that allows employers to legally raid such pension accounts to  "offset" a worker's severance and long-service payments. Photo: AFP

A fund manager friend calls it the Mandatory Poverty Fund. Most of us call the MPF by its more polite name. But my friend has a point. The way the quasi-pension fund is run now, you are guaranteed a life of penury if you have to live on it after retirement.

Saturday, 18 January, 2014, 12:36am 5 comments

Interest grows in MPF yuan funds

Employees have many categories of funds to choose from under the MPF; yuan funds are still a tiny minority. SCMP graphic: Mario Rivers

Yuan-based MPF funds are catching on among Hongkongers even as they underperform other categories.

19 Nov 2013 - 2:57am

MPF continues strong run but outlook tempered by market uncertainties

How the funds performed

Investment funds in the Mandatory Provident Fund scheme, which covers 2.4 million employees in the city, continued its good run last month, beating the Hang Seng Index.

6 Nov 2013 - 5:33am

MPF dips into the red for first half

MPF reported a 0.56 per cent loss in the first half of the year. Photo: AP

The Mandatory Provident Fund, the retirement scheme that covers 2.4 million people in Hong Kong, reported a 0.56 per cent loss in the first half of the year, worse than putting money in the bank but beating the stock market's benchmark Hang Seng Index, which fell 8 per cent.

4 Jul 2013 - 5:23am 1 comment

Ongoing challenges faced by the MPF

Ongoing challenges faced by the MPF

The Mandatory Provident Fund was launched in 2000 to address, in part, the challenge of financing the retirement of a quickly ageing population. Its net assets had reached HK$455 billion at the end of March and the annualised rate of return over the past 12 years has been 4 per cent.

3 Jul 2013 - 4:52am 3 comments

MPF switch fails to make big hit

Just 64,000 have opted to move to a new MPF provider.

While the move to allow switching of MPF funds was hailed as the scheme's most significant reform since its launch in 2000, only 64,000 employees have opted to do so since being granted that choice on November 1 last year.

13 Jun 2013 - 6:20am 1 comment

Low-fee funds not high on pensions list

Low-fee funds not high on pensions list

Everyone likes a bargain. And if we extend this truism to the thorny issue of fees for our retirement schemes, then perhaps we should be thankful that our pension regulator is trying to bring in rules to lower MPF fees. But a closer look shows caution is required.

11 Jun 2013 - 3:25am 1 comment

Market sell-down leaves MPF funds in the red

Market sell-down leaves MPF funds in the red

The Mandatory Provident Fund, which covers the city's 2.5 million employees, sank back into the red last month as Japanese and emerging-market stocks fell.

The 458 investment funds under the retirement scheme reported an average month-on-month loss of 0.87 per cent after a gain of 1.9 per cent in April, according to data provider Lipper.

5 Jun 2013 - 4:05am

MPF back in profit as markets rally

MPF retirement funds reported average profits of 1.9 per cent in April, following on from losses in both February and March. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

The Mandatory Provident Fund, covering 2.5 million employees in the city, returned to profit in April after recording two consecutive months of losses. Analysts attributed it to the recent worldwide stock market rally and predicted retirement funds would deliver stable returns in the coming months as many countries around the globe adopt loose monetary policies to boost their economies.

4 May 2013 - 4:53am

With fees, a little understanding goes a long way

Fee reign

Fees are central to investing, but they are also much misunderstood. They are split into many categories, and disclosure varies from fund to fund.

Managed funds

Managed funds are unlisted unit trusts. They are the standard mutual funds you see in banks.

29 Apr 2013 - 3:59am

Why not put all your eggs in one basket?

Why not put all your eggs in one basket?

Should I consolidate my MPF accounts? 

Regardless of the sum in your Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) accounts, it's worth considering consolidation. The MPF Authority (MPFA) is on a mission to encourage people to do this. There are over two million scheme members and four million accounts. You, and all scheme members holding multiple accounts, will soon receive a letter from the MPFA recommending consolidation.

15 Apr 2013 - 3:11am

MPF drops for a second month, erases January gains

The Mandatory Provident Fund, covering 2.5 million employees in the city, has recorded two consecutive months of losses. Photo: Bloomberg

The 455 investment funds under the retirement scheme reported an average loss of 0.24 per cent in March, after an average loss of 0.58 per cent in February, according to data provider Lipper. This erased a good chunk of the 2.61 per cent gains in January.

3 Apr 2013 - 5:28am

Business Digest, March 5, 2013

Du Jun

SFC fines Manulife Asset Management

5 Mar 2013 - 4:47am

Time to stop bosses dipping their fingers into the MPF

Anna Wu Hung-yuk, chairman of Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority. Photo: Edward Wong

The government has finally given a timetable for allowing employees to have complete control of their Mandatory Provident Fund investment. But the reform has still not gone far enough.

Bosses can still dip into the employer contribution section of a worker's account to make long-service or severance payments, an exploitation of the 2.4 million workers under the scheme.

29 Jan 2013 - 4:51am 1 comment

Insurers claim victory in fight for workers switching MPF providers

Roger Steel, boss of Sun Life Hong Kong, believes one in 10 workers would change pension providers if they could. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Insurers with large teams of agents look to have proven better able to fight for new pension business than banks after employees were allowed to choose their own Mandatory Provident Fund providers two months ago.

28 Jan 2013 - 5:17am