KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has enhanced and simplified its policies to enable members aged 55 and 60 to make partial withdrawals of any amount at any time from next January. This is opposed to the “Age 55 and Age 60’ withdrawal policies that allow members to withdraw a minimum of RM2,000 once every 30 days. Members who choose to make monthly withdrawals will also be able to withdraw from as low as RM100 per month, a reduction from RM250 currently. The move forms part of four enhancements to the EPF’s schemes and policies, which will take effect on January 1 next year. Other key enhancements are the option to appoint Amanah Raya Bhd (ARB) as nominee/administrator trustee, flexible withdrawal policy until age 100 and extension of death benefit from age 55 to 60 EPF chief executive officer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said the enhancements are part of the retirement saving fund's continuing effort to improve and meet members' increasing expectations. "We anticipate majority of our members will be facing increasing challenges in preparing for their retirement," he said at a briefing on the enhancements here today. Shahril Ridza said the challenges include dramatic demographic shift 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," he added. The EPF will also reclassify its data involving the number of members and employers, starting this year's third quarter (Q3) 2017 operations results. Shahril Ridza said the fund deals with vast amount of data as the number of its members and employers had grown significantly over the past 66 years. "The reclassification exercise is necessary to provide greater transparency and clarity to the status of accounts, while ensuring our statistics conform to the current provision in the EPF Act," he said.
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) chief executive officer, Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan speaks during the media briefing at the EPF building in Jalan Raja Laut. Pic by HALIM SALLEH
He added that the reclassification exercise is to distinguish between accounts with savings and those with zero savings (dormant accounts). Data on employers is reclassified between those with “employer” status as stipulated in the EPF Act 1991 and the self-employed status. EPF noted that its database system would automatically update any changes to the members' or employers' account status. He said the reclassification of data would not affect contribution amounts or withdrawal statistics. "Starting this quarter onwards, the total number of EPF members will be based on account savings only. This will later be reflected in the upcoming EPF Annual Report 2017," he said. All dormant accounts will remain open for members below 75 years old to provide them the opportunity to re-contribute to their account for retirement well-being. As at September 30, total EPF account holders amounted to 17.8 million members. Of the total, 13.7 million members had savings and 4.1 million members without savings. Total employers registered with EPF amounted to 548,079 members. Of the total, 54,850 are self-employed. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd