Hongkongers 'seriously' underestimate the benefits of the Mandatory Provident Fund, according to a survey commissioned by a top MPF provider. The 500 respondents, on average, estimated just 7 per cent of the wealth the scheme could bring in for an individual over four decades, the Bank Consortium Trust Company's survey shows. Holders of MPF accounts aged 18 to 60 who had a median income of HK$15,000 a month were surveyed. They were asked to rate the MPF return over a 43-year period for a person who contributes HK$500 a month in the first five years and HK$1,000 a month during the remainder, with his or her employer always making the same contribution. The hypothetical person joins the scheme at the age of 22 and retires at the age of 65. When the annual investment return was set at 10 per cent, the respondents on average estimated that HK$2.63 million would be accumulated over the period. But BCT investment director Eddie Lam Yat-ming said the actual return would amount to HK$15.1 million. When the annual return rate was set at 15 per cent, average estimates put the worker's benefits at HK$5.49 million at age 65. Mr Lam said the actual return would be HK$83 million. 'The actual investment return can be 14 times higher than the respondents' estimates,' he said. 'This shows Hongkongers have seriously underestimated the retirement protection that MPF can bring them.' The survey also found that 45 per cent of respondents had invested the bulk of their MPF in equity funds. Some 41 per cent of respondents based their fund allocation on their level of risk tolerance while 33 per cent of respondents on returns.