The Legislative Council passed certain changes to the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance ("MPFSO") on 30 January 2015. Details of key changes are set out below. 

Key amendments to the MPFSO include:

(a) allowing the withdrawal of accrued benefits by instalments upon a scheme member's retirement or early retirement ("phased withdrawal");

(b) requiring a trustee to process, free-of-charge, at least 12 withdrawal requests made by each scheme member per year on the ground of retirement or early retirement;

(c) adding "terminal illness" as a ground for the application of making early withdrawal;

(e) reducing the compliance burden on trustees and employers by simplifying operational processes and communication;

(h) extending the time limit to institute criminal proceedings under MPFSO and the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes (Exemption Regulation) (Cap. 485B) ("Exemption Regulation") from six months to three years from the time when the matter arose.

We will update you when these amendments come into force. Employers may wish to contact their MPF service providers and ensure that key stakeholders are familiar with the changes and are aware of any action that may be necessary.