KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 — Employees Provident Fund (EPF) members aged 55 and 60 will be able to withdraw any amount from their account whenever they wish, starting January 2018.
In a report by The Star, EPF chief executive officer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan reportedly said this new arrangement was made possible due to an upgrade in the fund’s system.
“Under the [current] EPF scheme, there are a number of restrictions on technology in terms of processing,” he was quoted saying.
“With the improvement, you will be able to withdraw any amount at any time so in case of an emergency, you have access to the money,” Shahril added.
Under the policy now, members may only partially withdraw at least RM2,000 once every 30 days.
Currently, those who prefer monthly withdrawals must also withdraw at least RM250, but this will also be reduced to RM100 with the new system.
The age cap for partial withdrawals has also been revised from 75 to 100.
“The EPF anticipates that most of our members will face increasing challenges in preparing for their retirement with the dramatic demographic shifts facing both Malaysia and the world, as well as the advent of the next industrial revolution.
“Therefore, these enhancements are to keep pace with changes in members’ needs and expectations,” Shahril was quoted saying.
Other enhancements to the policy include the option to appoint Amanah Raya Bhd as a trustee, and the extension of death benefit — or the ability to claim RM2,500 if a member dies before the age of 55 — to 60.
Responding to the announcement, the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) urged that EPF members be taught financial skill so they can manage their funds properly.
“I understand that the money is for retirement, but we also have to acknowledge that no amount is going to be enough. We have to teach the public how to manage their money,” Fomca secretary-general Datuk Paul Selvaraj was quoted saying in a separate report.
The EPF is a mandatory retirement savings scheme for the Malaysian private sector.