On 21 June 2012, Hong Kong's Legislative Council passed the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2011. Under the amendment bill, a statutory regulatory regime for MPF intermediaries is established. The bill provides that both the MPF intermediaries' regime and the Employee Choice Arrangement will come into effect on 1 November 2012.
Under the new regulatory regime, the Mandatory Provident Fund Authority (MPFA) will be the sole authority to register MPF intermediaries, issue guidelines and make rules on conduct requirements. The MPFA will be empowered to impose disciplinary sanctions for non-compliance with the conduct requirements.
The new regulatory regime retains the current segmented approach to regulate MPF intermediaries depending on their industries. The front line regulators (FRs) are still the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Insurance Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission, in addition to the MPFA. The FRs will still be responsible for the supervision and investigation of registered MPF intermediaries.
There is a two-year transitional arrangement for MPF intermediaries. During this period, MPF intermediaries will be automatically transferred to the new regime. If intermediaries wish to conduct MPF sales and marketing activities after the transitional period, they may apply for registration under the new regime. The MPFA intends to revise the existing Code of Conduct for MPF Intermediaries, Guide to Registration as MPF Intermediaries, and Guide to Continuing Professional Development for MPF Intermediaries later in 2012 to reflect the new regime.
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