A series of measures have been announced by the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority to beef up publicity and improve public understanding. Commissioner of Labour Matthew Cheung Kin-chung and authority managing director Alan Wong Chi-kong have written to all employers warning against unilateral cuts in contractually agreed retirement benefits. Authority spokeswoman Heidi Kwan told Wan Chai District Council the authority was planning to contact 60,000 firms to promote the scheme to employers. In August, four months ahead of the targeted implementation of the scheme, the authority would sponsor an 18-district publicity campaign costing $1.8 million. Ms Kwan said the authority did not want to send a negative message to bosses and workers by giving 'warnings' but the scheme was compulsory. 'There needs to be a reminder that failing to follow the scheme leads to a criminal offence,' she told yesterday's meeting. Last month, Mr Cheung wrote to all employers warning them not to cut contractual retirement benefits without staff consent. Mr Wong yesterday also wrote to the employers, relaying the same message. A spate of proposals by companies including large ones like trading and distribution firm Li and Fung to change retirement plans for their staff has led to an outcry by unions, who warn that copycats may follow. Li and Fung has since said the change would be suspended, pending review.