- Mandatory Provident Fund (Hong Kong)
The Mandatory Provident Fund (Chinese: 強制性公積金), often abbreviated as MPF (強積金), is a compulsory saving scheme (pension fund) for the retirement of residents in Hong Kong. Most of employees and their employers are required to contribute monthly to mandatory provident fund schemes provided by approved private organisations, according to their salaries and the period of employment.
In traditional Chinese society, a retired person was supposed to be supported by his family and his savings, thus an extended family formed a safety net. Life expectancy was comparatively low compared to today.
As Hong Kong become a developed entity, life expectancy in the territory improved greatly and the birth rate dropped significantly. Extended family was broken into nuclear family. Hong Kong's social security system will be unable to cope with the large number of elderly people in the future. There were some calls to establish a central provident fund and heated debates among government, politicians and trade unions ensued in the early 1990s.
In 1994, the World Bank published the report "Averting the Old-Age Crisis: Policies to Protect the Old and Promote Growth", in which a three-pillar approach to protection for the aged was put forward.
The three pillars were:
- a publicly managed, tax-financed social safety net;
- a mandatory, privately managed fully funded contribution scheme;
- voluntary personal savings and insurance.
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