KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — The Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) Caruman Sukarela Insentif Suri (i-Suri) has recorded 4,365 housewives registered with the fund’s latest scheme up till yesterday.
Speaking at the National Council of Women’s Organisation (NCWO) annual dinner, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said it was important for the government to protect the interests of impoverished women.
“Up till August 20, 2018 there were 3,289 housewives who have registered with i-Suri and yesterday on August 23, the number jumped by 1,076 new members to 4,365 housewives who have registered for the scheme,” said Dr Wan Azizah, who also doubles as Women, Family and Community Development Minister.
The latest scheme provided by EPF was launched on August 8 and its implementation began on August 15. The scheme will be implemented on a phase-to-phase basis and targets women who are already listed under the government’s National Poverty Registration – e-Kasih.
According to e-Kasih statistics there are a total of 221,890 housewives, 98,546 widows and 28,116 divorcees from the hardcore poor segment of society eligible to enjoy the i-Suri scheme.
Those eligible have the option to contribute a minimum of RM5 a month into their retirement savings account in order to receive a government incentive of RM40 a month which will be deposited into their EPF accounts.
They will be able to enjoy the same benefits as other EPF members including annual dividends on retirement savings, withdrawals at the age of 50, 55 and 60, as well as incapacitation and death benefit.
Furthermore Dr Wan Azizah pointed out that family duties of looking after children and the elderly normally falls on the shoulders of women and strategic intervention is needed to ensure that women can also contribute to nation building.
“Strategic intervention to increase child care services as well as care for the elderly while making it more readily available must be prioritised. By focusing on these areas we will be giving women a head-start so they too may grow.
“I believe we must do more and we cannot just focus on government initiatives, but [it] also requires greater collaboration with non-governmental organisations who are looking after women and children issues.
“Steps to look after women and children’s safety in and out of cyberspace must always be part of our focus,” said Dr Wan Azizah.