The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will begin disbursing approved i-Lestari withdrawals to its members, starting from today until 18 May 2020.
Members whose applications have been approved will be informed via the i-Lestari Online facility when the funds are successfully transferred to their active bank accounts. However, it may take between one to three days for the transactions to clear before the money will be available for the members to withdraw, depending on the respective bank’s clearance procedures.
According to the chief executive officer of EPF, Tunku Alizakri Alias, more than 3.51 million applications have been approved since the launch of the i-Lestari Withdrawal Scheme in the beginning of April 2020. This will involve the disbursement of over RM1.66 billion to the members.
“We have been working with our partner banks to ensure their systems and infrastructure are ready to receive and correctly process such huge amounts of deposit at any one time,” said Tunku Alizakri. He added that all parties eventually agreed that daily transfers by batches from EPF to the respective financial institutions was the safest and best method. It is expected that this exercise will take about two weeks or less to complete.
Alizakri also noted that EPF understands the members’ urgent need for cash to get through the current crisis. However, he is equally concerned that the i-Lestari withdrawals will substantially reduce the members’ retirement savings.
“We hope our members have thought deeply before deciding on the amounts to be withdrawn from their Account 2 as they will need to balance their present cash needs with ensuring a solid financial future,” said Alizakri. He had previously reminded EPF members to be prudent in making their applications for the i-Lestari withdrawal.
Alizakri further suggested in the statement that EPF members should meet with the fund’s Retirement Advisory Services officers once the ongoing movement control order (MCO) is lifted. This is so that the officers can help members review and restructure their retirement plans, if there is a need to do so.
The i-Lestari Withdrawal Scheme was first announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in mid-March 2020, with applications officially starting on 1 April 2020. EPF subsequently introduced the i-Lestari Online facility to offer a simpler application process.
(Source: The Star)