comScoreTag
Eng |
FancyBox
FancyBox

Money Matter


Article exclusively contributed by the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority

Significance of an MPF preserved account


Calvin is a computer systems analyst who started a new job a week ago with a local IT solutions consultancy company. As this is the first time he has changed jobs, Calvin is not sure about how to handle the accrued benefits in his existing MPF account. Before leaving his old company, he was assured by the human resources officer there that he could transfer the accrued MPF benefits to his new employer's MPF scheme.

Since Calvin had no idea how to arrange the transfer of his accrued benefits to a new MPF account, he sought advice from the payroll officer of his new employer about the necessary procedures. To his surprise, the officer told him he should open a preserved account under his old MPF scheme to manage his accrued MPF benefits.

Calvin was really confused. He didn't understand why a preserved account was needed. He was also worried that, if he changed jobs in future, more and more preserved accounts would be opened and be difficult to manage. He decided to call the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA) hotline to seek advice.

Staff at the MPFA explained to Calvin that a preserved account holds the accrued MPF benefits in respect of any former employment or self-employment of the member. To open a preserved account or to transfer to his new employer's MPF scheme were both feasible options for his accrued MPF benefits. If he wanted to transfer them to his new MPF account, his new employer should help by transferring his application to the trustee of his new company's MPF scheme. Having different MPF service providers would not pose any problem.

The MPFA subsequently contacted Calvin's new employer. After having things explained, the company realised that they had overlooked their responsibilities. The company eventually helped Calvin to transfer his accrued benefits to his new MPF account.

Q & A about your MPF preserved account
Q1 When an employee starts a job with a new company, how should he handle the benefits accrued under his former employer's MPF scheme? A1:
A1 When an employee changes jobs, he can make the following arrangements:
Transfer the accrued benefits to the new employer's MPF scheme. This is the same method used by Calvin in the case study on this page.
Keep the accrued benefits in the existing scheme. In doing so, the employee would need to open a preserved account with the existing trustee. If an employee does not indicate a preference on how to handle the accrued benefits within three months after his ex-employer has notified the trustee of the termination of employment, the employee's accrued benefits will be automatically transferred to a preserved account.
Transfer the accrued benefits to any other MPF trustee. The employee has to open a preserved account with a trustee other than the existing trustee or that of his new employer.

Q2 What are the procedures for transferring the accrued benefits to a new MPF account?
A2 The employee should complete a "Scheme Member's Request for Fund Transfer Form" [Form MPF(S)-P(M)] which is obtainable from his trustee or the MPFA or can be downloaded from the MPFA's website at www.mpfahk.org. The completed form should be returned directly or via the new employer to the new trustee.
If the employee wants to open a preserved account for his or her accrued benefits, he or she should complete and return the designated form to the trustee chosen to administer the preserved account.

Q3 What is the purpose of the preserved account?
A3 The preserved account serves a useful function as it preserves an existing account by default after a scheme member has changed employment. It allows the scheme member a more flexible investment choice. For instance, scheme members can opt to retain an old account or transfer it to another designated trustee apart from transferring it to a new employer's chosen trustee. It also allows the member to protect his interest in the old scheme by avoiding transfer out when the timing is not right (e.g. poor economic conditions when returns are low) because a transfer involves the trading of fund units.

Q4 What should I do if I want to check my preserved account status?
A4 Scheme members may check the number of preserved accounts they hold at the MPFA office at 15/F, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, bringing along their personal identification documents. However, scheme members need to approach their own trustees for details such as the account balance.
Hotline: 2918 0102


Taken from Career Times 06 February 2004

(Last review date: 23 August 2013)


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributor.

Share


Free Subscription

Email