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EPF scheme to help members save more for retirement
23/10/2007 The Star By PAUL CHOO

KUALA LUMPUR: All Employees Provident Fund contributors will, from Feb 1, be able to withdraw part of their funds and channel them to approved investment programmes.

Under the new scheme, contributors, irrespective of age, will be able to withdraw from Account One what is in excess of a “required amount” of savings as determined by the EPF and invest the money in unit trusts.

Currently, contributors can only do so if they have in excess of RM50,000.

This is one among a range of changes that the EPF is implementing in stages to make it easier for contributors to exercise the option to augment their savings for their retirement.

Using the tagline “Beyond Savings”, the EPF also hopes the changes will ensure that contributors have enough money for retirement.

Other changes include:

  • MORE flexible withdrawals for contributors at age 55;

  • ALLOWING withdrawal of any amount irrespective of age for savings in excess of RM1mil;

  • ALLOWING withdrawals from Account Two for critical illness insurance; and

  • WITHDRAWALS for housing loan instalments.

These changes were revealed by EPF chief executive officer Datuk Azlan Zainol at the fund's headquarters here yesterday.

Azlan said the EPF has established a set of “required amounts” for contributors depending on their age.

The amounts are based on the assumption that a person would need at least RM120,000 – or RM500 a month – from retirement at 55 to age 75.

He said a contributor could withdraw 20% of the amount in excess of the required amount for investments in unit trusts.

“For example, if a 25-year-old has RM20,000 in Account One, he can take 20% of the excess to invest once every three months. This is because his required amount is only RM9,000,” he said.

For those who have reached 55, Azlan said that from Nov 1 they would have several options: withdraw everything they have, go for monthly withdrawals of at least RM250 for at least one year, or withdraw at least RM2,000 at any one time.

Currently, members aged 55 can only choose to withdraw the entire sum, withdraw only annual dividends, or take out monthly amounts but for at least five years.

Azlan said there would also be changes to the procedures for age 50 withdrawals.

From Jan 1, 2013, those who reach 50 would only be able to withdraw any amount from Account Two if their Account One has at least RM90,000, the required amount for that age.

On using EPF withdrawals to pay housing loan instalments, Azlan said that although the money would be banked straight into the contributors' accounts, it would be liasing with the banks to ensure that the loans are properly serviced.

“If they fail to pay their instalments for three months, the bank will inform us and we will stop payment to the contributors,” he said, adding that this scheme would start from Jan 1.

Azlan said that from Nov 1, those who had more than RM1mil in their savings could withdraw and invest the excess amount anytime. He said there were about 4,700 contributors who had more than RM1mil in their accounts.


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