KUALA LUMPUR: Those aged 55 to 60 will have easier access to their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings – and in smaller amounts – from January.
The current policy only allows partial withdrawals of a minimum of RM2,000 once every 30 days. Those who opt for the monthly retirement scheme have to withdraw a minimum of RM250 a month.
EPF chief executive officer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said the new schemes are made possible thanks to the upgrades in the system.
“Under the old (current) EPF scheme, there are a number of restrictions on technology in terms of processing.
“So, let’s say today you withdraw RM10,000 (under the partial withdrawal scheme). You can only come back 30 days later and withdraw at least RM2,000 for the system to recognise it.
“With the improvement, you will be able to withdraw any amount at any time so in case of an emergency, you have access to the money,” Shahril told a media briefing yesterday.
He said members who choose to make monthly withdrawals will be able to withdraw from as low as RM100 per month, as opposed to RM250 under the current policy.
This, said Shahril, gives flexibility to members on how they want to use their money based on their requirements.
EPF has also encouraged its members to take advantage of its Retirement Advisory Services, provided for free at its 18 branches nationwide, to help members plan their long-term retirement needs and decide on the optimum withdrawal amount and frequency.
Apart from that, the flexible withdrawal policy, which allows members to withdraw any amount at any time for partial withdrawals, has also been extended up to age 100.
Currently, the age cap is set at 75 years old. Members may also opt for a combination of monthly and partial withdrawals.
“Malaysia will become an ageing nation by 2030, so this is to cater to the growing ageing population,” said Shahril.
He added that the EPF had also “enhanced and simplified” its policies as part of its continuing efforts to improve and meet the expectations of its members.
The improvements were based on feedback from EPF members.
“The EPF anticipates that most of our members will face increasing challenges in preparing for their retirement with the dramatic demographic shifts facing both Malaysia and the world, as well as the advent of the next industrial revolution.
“Therefore, these enhancements are to keep pace with changes in members’ needs and expectations.”
One other key initiative that will take effect from Jan 1 is that members will have the option to appoint Amanah Raya Berhad as the nominee, administrator or trustee to administer their EPF savings.
This, said Shahril, would enable faster and equitable distribution of their savings to the next of kin upon the death of members.
This new option is an addition to members’ existing right to appoint any individual as nominees.
Shahril said this would be especially beneficial for members with children aged below 18 or to help avoid family disputes.
There will also be an extension of death benefit from age 55 to 60. The current death benefit of RM2,500, which is claimable if the member dies before the age of 55, will be extended until the age of 60.
“This is in line with the national retirement age of 60,” said Shahril.