As we all know, The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is known as one of the oldest and largest retirement funds and it provides benefits to the private sector and pensionable employees in Malaysia.
According to Ringgit Plus, EPF will launch new facilities, namely the i-Sayang and i-Lindung to promote the well-being of Malaysians. Among the numerous ideas that EPF has, these plans are hoped to provide improved retirement results for its members.
Particularly in i-Sayang, the men are allowed to transfer 2% of their EPF contributions to their spouse’s account. This is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022. Furthermore, EPF members will soon be able to use the i-Lindung option to withdraw funds from their Akaun 2 to obtain life and critical illness insurance through the EPF website.
Tan Sri Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir, the chairman of EPF said other initiatives under consideration include a phased approach to establishing legal EPF coverage for non-agriculture informal sector workers.
“We will also be advocating our voluntary excess scheme where members can compel their employers to increase their EPF contributions to more than the 11% statutory rate,” he said during the opening of the 9th International Social Wellbeing Conference (ISWC) 2021.
Tan Sri Ahmad Badri stated that he wants to emphasise that many EPF members are now at risk of being impoverished in their elderly age. This is owing to large-scale withdrawals made through the i-Lestari, i-Sinar, and i-Citra facilities in order to withstand the financial hardships caused by COVID-19. Under the three facilities, a total of RM101.1 billion has been withdrawn.
He also mentioned “The situation is that 48% of EPF members below the age 55 have critically low savings. This is a 28% increase in members reaching critically low EPF savings from before the pandemic,” stressing that only three out of ten adults in Malaysia are covered by some form of social protection.
Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan, chief executive officer of EPF brought to light a troubling aspect raised by the pandemic, an exacerbated problem of inequity. This problem existed prior to the epidemic, but it was exacerbated by the assault of COVID-19.
“While many nations have attempted to reduce the COVID-19 impact by intense and short-term resource mobilisation, these programmes can only be temporary solutions, not long-term solutions capable of protecting people’s lives and livelihoods,” Amir added. He hoped that participants in the ISWC 2021 will work hard to develop the essential alternatives.