Manulife is planning to slash the management fees on its Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) investment funds starting August 1, it said on Friday, by enough to save pension holders HK$110 million (US$14 million) in the next year. The management fees on 23 of Manulife’s 29 MPF funds on offer – which range from international equity funds to regional bond funds, to money market funds – will be cut between 2.6 per cent and a whopping 47.9 per cent, said Raymond Ng Ching-fat, soon-to-be head of employee benefits and vice-president at Manulife (International). He added the aim is to “boost return performance and cost effectiveness for our members”. Manulife’s fee reductions come after the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority, which regulates the city’s compulsory pension scheme, last month said 14 pension providers had signed up to a charter under which they had agreed to voluntarily cut fees. This is expected to help 2.8 million MPF holders in the city save around HK$200 million in fees over the next year. Just over half of those savings will come from the fee cuts by the Canadian Manulife, which the biggest MPF sponsor in Hong Kong, with a 22.5 pent cent market share, Ng said. MPF product sponsors own their own products and are responsible for designing and setting up fund products, and setting fee levels. The firm will also enhance its existing human resources mobile application, called “ec-Work”, by adding a new feature that allows new members to enrol and self-serve their MPF needs online from July. Ng said upgrades to the mobile application in the future would make it possible for members to switch MPF funds, apply for payslips or leave, or receive corporate announcements, such as work arrangements when a typhoon signal is hoisted. Ng is hoping half of Manulife’s existing MPF 1.4 million customers will be using the mobile application to check and manage their accounts within the next five years. The charter’s other initiatives encourage providers to make wider use of e-communication channels to better talk to their members, and to improve levels of service, safety and security. “How many people actually open up their MPF paper packages to read them? The best way to connect to our members is through mobile phone,” Ng said.