MPFA to review withdrawal options this year

The Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA) has started to review the modes of MPF withdrawal and plans to submit its preliminary recommendations to the government within this year.

The MPFA is to study different withdrawal options, including the present lump-sum payments arrangement, programmed or phased withdrawals, and annuities.

Chan Ka Keung, Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury, said: "We keep an open mind on the modes of withdrawal of mandatory provident fund benefits. The primary consideration is it can meet the needs of scheme members to achieve better retirement protection."

"We will liaise closely with the authority on the review and take appropriate follow-up actions regarding the review results, including consultation with the Legislative Council Panel on Financial Affairs and listening to public views," he added.

In addition, the current rules do not allow MPF scheme members to withdraw their accrued benefits until they reach the age of 65. The authority only allows scheme members to withdraw MPF in advance unless they are proved death, total incapacity, permanent departure from Hong Kong, or retire earlier at the age of 60. Early withdrawal is also allowed for small account balance which the total accrued benefits are not exceeding $5,000.