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EPF withdrawals to go into members’ bank accounts
12/09/2007 The Star By IZATUN SHARI

KUALA LUMPUR: The EPF monthly withdrawal for reducing housing loans will be credited directly into the contributor's personal bank account and not to the lending bank.

Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said the money could then be used to either help offset the housing loan instalment or for the contributor to afford a bigger or more expensive house.

“It is a simple mechanism. For instance, let’s say your monthly salary is RM2,000, 30% of your EPF contribution will go to Account 2.

Your monthly housing loan repayment is now RM500 and you can use RM138 to offset the housing loan instalment. The RM138 will be credited to your bank account every month.

“In another situation, you are thinking of buying a house, but you can only afford to pay RM400 a month. With RM138 withdrawn monthly from EPF, you can afford to buy a bigger house and pay RM538 monthly,” he said.

He said contributors needed to go to the EPF to apply for the monthly withdrawal only once, and it would directly credit the money to their personal account every month.

“The condition is that the contributors must have a housing loan,” he added.

Nor Mohamed said the RM9.6bil that would be taken away from the EPF to be put into the contributors’ pockets every year was good for consumption-led growth.

On worries that the monthly withdrawal would be subject to abuse like the EPF computer withdrawal scheme that was a flop, he said: “Let them use the money. It is all right. The money is in their pocket. But they must have a housing loan.”

“There are no worries. For the computer scheme in the past, some contributors bought computer slips rather than computers.

“In this case, there is no downside. They cannot cheat. We can check with the bank if they have a housing loan. A person who doesn’t have a housing loan won’t be able to withdraw his savings from Account 2,” he added.

Nor Mohamed was asked to elaborate on the EPF Account 2 withdrawal scheme for monthly housing loan repayments after delivering his keynote address at the Malaysian Newspaper Publishers Association’s seminar titled “Making Sense of The Media Collusion” here yesterday.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, when unveiling Budget 2008, announced that the Government would allow EPF contributors to make monthly withdrawals from their Account 2 balances to pay off their housing loans from Jan 1.

He said the move would benefit five million active EPF contributors.

He said it would also enable them to own better houses and lessen their monthly financial obligations.

Nor Mohamed said if there was a change in the loan status, the bank could let the EPF know about it.

The EPF said it would announce further details on the matter in December.


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