MPF legislation bound for Legco ahead of handover

Subsidiary legislation enabling the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) to proceed is expected to be tabled in the Legislative Council before the handover, Secretary for Financial Services Hui Si-yan says.

Mr Hui said the attorney-general and the law draftsman had promised him the drafts of the legislation would be ready before the deadline at the end of June.

'The draft of the MPF subsidiary legislation is going smoothly and the attorney-general has sent a lot of people to deal with the issue,' he said. 'I believe the first batch of the legislation will be tabled in Legco this month and that all the legislation will be tabled, in different batches, before the end of June.' He said it would be up to Legco members to decide when the legislation would be passed.

If the legislation could not be passed by the existing Legco, it would need to be discussed again by the new legislature and the scheme's starting date would be delayed.

Mr Hui said that even if the legislation could not be passed before June 30, the post-handover Special Administrative Region (SAR) government was likely to continue the work.

'I have talked to the post-handover Executive Council members about the MPF scheme and they have just given suggestions to improve the scheme,' he said.

'There is no sign that the SAR government will reject or make big changes to the scheme.' Meanwhile, Hang Seng Bank vice-chairman and chief executive Alexander Au Siu-kee said the bank would launch its MPF products through its insurance arms. He said that rather than team up with another firm to develop the products, the bank would handle the business alone through its 140-strong branch network and its large corporate customer base.

'We will have enough of a client base and network to develop MPF services,' he said.

'But the bank needs to wait until the subsidiary legislation is finalised before the launch of the services.'