4th March 2023 - 4 min read
KWASA DAMANSARA, 4 March 2023: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Board today announced a dividend rate of 5.35% for Simpanan Konvensional, with a total payout of RM45.44 billion; and 4.75% for Simpanan Shariah, with a total payout of RM5.70 billion, bringing total payout amount for 2022 to RM51.14 billion.
As at 31 December 2022, the EPF recorded a lower total gross investment income of RM55.33 billion, compared to RM68.89 billion in 2021, driven by high market volatility and lower valuations across equity and fixed income markets.
EPF Chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir said, “Alhamdulillah, despite the persistent global market downturn in 2022, the EPF investment portfolio maintained its resilience and responded with minimal impact. This was largely due to our overarching strategy that emphasises long term sustainability of investments and returns, in line with the EPF’s Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA). The EPF’s well diversified portfolio and healthy liquidity helped to reduce risk and enabled the fund to maintain investment assets at above RM1.00 trillion and deliver respectable dividend rates for 2022.
“The RM51.14 billion payout will benefit more than 15 million EPF members, which include members from the informal sector who are registered under i-Saraan, an incentive-based voluntary contribution programme. We believe that our members’ retirement savings will benefit from the dividend and our consistent performance, especially when viewed from a long-term perspective. Notwithstanding the economic situation, we will continue to prioritise the long-term success of our investment portfolio and the rebuilding of our members’ retirement savings,” he added.
The financial year 2022 was marked by both slower global growth and high inflation rates, compounded by the tightening of monetary policies by major central banks to reel in inflationary pressure. Fixed income markets did not fare well as bond indices posted negative returns for the year, largely attributed to elevated yields following continued US Federal Reserve rate hikes. Geopolitical instability was also a major factor in driving market gyrations, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine causing a major dislocation in commodity prices, compounded by sabre rattling between the US and China.
The year also saw major global equity benchmark indices wrapping up their worst annual performance since 2008, falling between 20% to over 30% during the year. On the domestic front, the FBM KLCI closed the year 5% lower year-on-year at around the 1,495-point level.
The bearish market performance had weighed on the EPF’s earnings generation from equities, which continued to be the EPF’s main income contributor.
Tan Sri Ahmad Badri said notwithstanding the weak performance of the equity markets, not all sectors were affected as some, such as energy, plantation, financial services, and consumer staples, fared reasonably well compared to other sectors. The EPF’s diversification strategy across different sectors and geographies has been effective in capitalising on profit opportunities and generating returns.
The EPF’s SAA, paired with robust liquidity and risk management measures, provides a framework that guides and cushions the fund against difficult conditions, allowing it to deliver the results for 2022.
The EPF’s success in delivering stable and commendable dividends, which consistently surpasses that of other domestic funds, has been instrumental in solidifying its reputation as one of the country’s top institutional investors. This has also contributed to members’ savings, ultimately translating into greater financial security for members’ retirement years.
“Our commitment to building our members’ savings has been the driving force behind our continued success, and we remain steadfast in our dedication to delivering superior dividends and securing our members’ financial futures,” said Tan Sri Ahmad Badri.
Growth in the emerging markets and developing economies is expected to decelerate from 3.8% in 2022 to 2.7% in 2023, reflecting weaker external demand compounded by high inflation rates, tighter financing policies by central banks, and other domestic and geopolitical headwinds.
Tan Sri Ahmad Badri said, “We anticipate that the 2023 investment climate will continue to be challenging in the short and medium term. The continuing uncertainty underscores the need for a thoughtful approach that focuses on building resilience while aligning with EPF’s longterm investment objectives in accordance with our Strategic Asset Allocation.”
The crediting of the dividends for both Simpanan Konvensional and Simpanan Shariah will be completed on Saturday, 4 March 2023. Members may check their accounts via i-Akaun or get their statement from EPF’s Self-Service Terminal (SST) nationwide.
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