A major workers' union has called on the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority to collect MPF contributions to ensure employers do not default on their share of the payment, as is happening now. Legislator Ip Wai-ming, who is also a senior secretary of the Federation of Trade Unions, said many employers had managed to avoid contributing to workers' MPF accounts, as the funds are now managed by trustees picked by the employers. Under the current system, employees with missing contributions can report their employers to the authority, but some may not do so because they fear losing their job. 'If the authority can collect the money from both parties, it will know at once which companies had failed to make a contribution, and action can be taken against those employers immediately,' Mr Ip said yesterday. Employees should have full control of their MPF money, he said. 'This is the workers' money we are talking about,' he said. 'They should also be able to say when they want to buy certain investment products.' Mr Ip was also asked about the possibility of keeping MPF contributions inactive for now to avoid losses, given the market gloom. In response, he said: 'We need to study this very carefully, as who will pay interest on the money? The trustees certainly do not want to do so.' In light of the downturn, Mr Ip said, some employers had pressured their workers not to invest in high-risk products with their MPF money. Under the current system, employers who lay off workers have to ensure the workers leave with the full sum of the employers' contribution in their MPF accounts. For example, Mr Ip said, if an account to which an employer had contributed $50,000 has only $10,000 left, because of investment losses, the employer will have to top up $40,000. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the authority said an amendment had been made to the MPF Schemes Ordinance, which now requires employers to make MPF contributions for employees' previous month's entitlement on or before the 10th of each month. Non-compliant employers may be prosecuted and may face a maximum fine of HK$350,000 and jail for three years.