KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 ― The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has suggested that the government form a Malaysian society protection council to handle social protection and look into all the issues related to ageing society.
EPF chairman Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said EPF was looking forward to the establishment of the council that would include inter-agency cooperation including the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Economic Planning Unit (EPU).
“With this in place, we will be able to understand the real issues facing Malaysia and the real cost, and then we will be able to come out with a holistic protection plan.
“EPF is working closely with various stakeholders such as the ministries, agencies and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to provide input in developing policies and legislation in areas related to social protection, including minimum retirement age, minimum wage and re-employment policy in view of the potential crisis,” he told the media after opening the International Social Security Conference 2016, here, today.
He said EPF would be actively raising awareness on ageing society and how people survive and sustain through the period after retirement including financial planning for retirement such as investment in insurance and private retirement schemes, with the cooperation of other agencies such as MOH (Ministry of Health), MOF, EPU and SOCSO (Social Security Organisation).
Samsudin noted the increasing life expectancy which was currently up to 74 years for the Malaysian male and 76 for female.
“Let’s say they (Malaysians) live up to 80 years old and if they withdraw their EPF money at the age of 55, after 20 years how are they going to sustain their life? This is our concern; it is a societal problem and not just EPF’s.”
He said the Retirement Advisory Services (RAS) introduced by EPF provided free long-term plans to help members achieve sustainable retirement, and were offered at all major EPF branches throughout the country with certified financial retirement advisors being stationed at these branches.
Samsudin said a median projection by the United Nations reported that by 2030, Malaysia would be an aged country with those aged 60 and above making up 14 per cent of the population or 5.2 million people.
“And from there, the pace of ageing will start to accelerate where it will then take a mere 15 years for our country to become a super-aged nation, with 21 per cent of our population above 60 years old.”
He said the slowing rate of youth replacement and low retirement age of 60 were also creating a fiscal challenge for the government to subsidise the cost of social security for Malaysians, specifically in the areas of medical and health care.
The two-day conference from today themed “Active Ageing: Live Long and Prosper”, is jointly organised by EPF and State Street. It is to discuss healthy ageing and establishing age-friendly communities as well as encouraging engagement of the growing senior generation in the economic and social landscape.
State Street is a United States financial services holding company that provides financial services to institutional investors. ― Bernama