17th January 2023 - 2 min read
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has commented that the government will need to deliberate on the immediate predicament of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors, and their future survival before deciding if another round of special withdrawals should be allowed. This is as many contributors already have limited EPF savings as of now for their retirement.
“Too little… I’ve checked the amount of savings and for a majority of contributors, it is too small, and I am very concerned about their future,” said Datuk Seri Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister. He added that allowing another round of withdrawals will jeopardise the future of these contributors.
As such, Datuk Seri Anwar said that it would be better for the government to keep looking for other alternatives to assist these individuals in need instead. However, he did not share examples of such options as of yet.
Datuk Seri Anwar’s comment was made in response to recent calls by several groups that urged the government to consider allowing another round of one-off EPF withdrawals. These included Pertubuhan Aktivis Rakyat Malaysia (ProRakyat), which submitted a memorandum to the government to approve another round of EPF special withdrawals of up to RM30,000.
Prior to this, the government had already rolled out a total of four EPF special withdrawal facilities to assist individuals who struggled financially during the Covid-19 pandemic, namely the i-Lestari, i-Sinar, i-Citra, and a final RM10,000 withdrawal. However, this caused the EPF savings of many contributors to dip to worrying levels.
Specifically, it was revealed that as of June 2022, 52% of the total 12.78 million EPF members aged under 55 had savings of less than RM10,000. Meanwhile, the cumulative impact of these programmes on members’ savings is estimated at RM155 billion.
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