As many as 4.1 million members of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) have applied for the i-Lestari Withdrawal Scheme, with the majority coming from the B40 income group. This has raised some concerns for the dwindling retirement funds of its members from this group.
“We are fairly worried because some of our members have already exhausted their Account 2 after two months. That’s only RM1,000 in Account 2 (RM500 per month for two months),” said the chief executive officer of EPF, Tunku Alizakri Alias. He added that RM1.94 billion has been withdrawn as of 5 June 2020.
For reference, the i-Lestari facility allows EPF members aged 55 and below to withdraw between RM50 to RM500 per month from their EPF Account 2 for 12 months (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021). The withdrawable figure is, however, subject to the available funds in the members’ account. The EPF has begun disbursing the approved withdrawals into its members’ bank accounts from 4 May, a month after it started accepting applications from 1 April.
That said, Tunku Alizakri commented that applications for the i-Lestari withdrawal facility are still incoming. As such, it is still too early to draw conclusions or to release further details on the profile of the applicants.
Tunku Alizakri further reminded EPF members to be prudent with their applications as the i-Lestari withdrawal scheme dips into their retirement savings. He also said that they can meet the EPF’s retirement advisory services officers for advice to plan their retirements.
(Source: The Edge Markets)