The Government set up a Working Group on eMPF in June last year to steer the development of an electronic infrastructure to enable standardising, streamlining and automating Mandatory Provident Fund schemes administration. In the initial stage after establishment, the prime task of the Working Group is to build a centralised electronic administration platform (e-platform). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the latest work progress of the Working Group;
(2) of the latest timetable for launching the e-platform; and
(3) whether it has plans to apply various types of financial technologies to enhance the effectiveness of the e-platform?
The replies to the questions raised by Hon Chan are as follows:
(1) The Working Group on eMPF (the Working Group) is preparing for launching a centralised electronic administration platform (the eMPF). The work includes formulating the technical specifications which comprise two parts: the functional specifications and system specifications.
The formulation of the aforementioned specifications is based on the various processes involved in administering Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) schemes, for example, registration with the platform and enrolment in MPF schemes, handling of contributions and scheme members’ investment instructions, transfer and payment of benefits, reporting and documentation of information, etc. Representatives of MPF trustees in the Working Group have been actively participating in the formulation of the aforementioned specifications. We have completed the functional specifications and have commenced formulating the system specifications.
On the other hand, the Working Group is also developing strategies to encourage employers and employees to handle MPF contributions and related matters through electronic means.
(2) The Working Group seeks to complete the technical specifications by August this year. Upon finalising the technical specifications, we can estimate the costs for developing the platform and the implementation date, and will consult the Legislative Council thereon. Our target is to launch the eMPF centralised electronic administration platform in 2022.
(3) During the process of formulating the technical specifications, the Working Group will keep in view the development of financial technology and how it could be applied to eMPF to enhance its functions and effectiveness.