Income levels raised for MPF contributions

The Labour Advisory Board has agreed to raise the monthly income levels for Mandatory Provident Fund contributions from a minimum of HK$6,500 to HK$7,100 and the maximum from HK$25,000 to HK$30,000.

An employer representative said the lower limit will come into effect in November but the upper limit will not be effective until June 2014.

Under the present regime, both workers and their bosses pay 5percent of their salaries into their MPF accounts each month.

Speaking after a board meeting yesterday, Federation of Hong Kong Industries member Stanley Lau Chin-ho said there was no disagreement over either the lower or upper limits by the representatives of both the employers and employees.

Ng Chau-pei, an employee representative, said although he supports the adjustments, he hopes the government will review the mechanism on how trustees charge administrative fees so as to help workers better manage their MPF accounts.

Earlier, the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority suggested imposing a cap on fees, requiring the provision of a basic low- fee default fund, and allowing nonprofit groups such as trade unions or social enterprises to operate MPF schemes to enhance competition.

The suggestions were contained in an authority report last November after a year-long study into ways to improve the MPF system.

“Although employees contribute to their pension funds each month, it seems the MPF scheme cannot guarantee that workers can enjoy a decent retirement life,” Ng said.

Leung Chau-ting, another employee representative on the board, said the adjustment of income limits will not have negative financial impact on either employers or employees.