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New ruling only applies in divorce cases, says EPF
24/10/2007 The Star

PETALING JAYA: A person who succeeds in claiming the Employees Provident Fund savings of a spouse in a divorce case will only be able to get the money when the claimant reaches age 55.

EPF public relations department senior manager Nik Affendi Jaafar said this condition only applied to claims in divorce cases and not in situations involving deceased contributors as reported yesterday.

He said there was no change in situations of death, where the savings would be paid out to the nominated

Nik Affendi said the reason for this condition was to ensure that the claimant had enough money to live on after retirement.

“It is also important to note here that in these cases, the spouse can only withdraw his or her other half’s savings if there is a court order,” he said.

One scenario, he said, was when the court ordered the contributor to pay his spouse monetary support from his EPF savings.

Several callers to The Star said the new condition was not fair.

One caller, who declined to be named, asked what would happen if a couple were to divorce and the wife was only 40 and had three mouths to feed.

“She would have to wait for another 15 years before getting any money to help sustain the family. It is just unfair,” he said.

Another reader said via email: “The EPF is not taking into consideration the burdens of a single parent.”

Malaysian Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar said the condition would prevent the claimant from getting money to invest in order to survive.

“In a divorce, families may lose the sole breadwinner. With divorce rates going up in the country, it makes sense to allow the divorced spouse access to funds that will help them rebuild their lives.

“This is also an alternative to employment, which may not always be a suitable option for single mothers who also have to take care of their children,” he said.

On Monday, the EPF announced several new schemes and introduced several conditions which it will be introducing in stages.

Meanwhile, MTUC welcomed the EPF’s move to introduce new ways for contributors to withdraw their savings.

Its president Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud said it was also good to see the fund emphasise on the need to increase savings for contributors.


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