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Wednesday, 31 Oct 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) hopes the new government will introduce a consolidated social well-being blueprint in Budget 2019 that will ensure its members are financially independent post-retirement.
The proposed blueprint would also address the low-wage conundrum, insufficient savings of its members and coverage for the self-employed.
Chief executive officer Tunku Alizakri Alias said although the government spent RM24bil yearly for social benefits administration, it is not effective for Malaysians as there is no “single plan”.
“We have multiple ministries dealing with different stakeholders but with a single plan, a consolidated blueprint, we can do it more effectively.
Alizakri said the national pension fund had engaged with the new government over the single blueprint, indicating that it is expecting “positive signs” emerging, moving forward.
Data from the EPF showed that more than two-thirds of EPF members aged 54 had less than RM50,000 in EPF savings. According to Bank Negara’s 2017 annual report, half of working Malaysians only earned less than the national median of RM1,703 in 2016.
Alizakri reiterated the sobering figures, saying that “for every RM1 a Malaysian earns, they owe RM1.46”.
He said the crux of the matter was the missing legislations and government policies to ensure there was no anti-ageism and a stable income post-retirement.
Citing an example, Alizakri questioned whether the country had health and safety policies in companies to recognise the different needs of elderly individuals. “We don’t have that sort of statutes in place,” he noted.
Meanwhile, with the EPF’s investment in the United States at around 17%, he said the mounting US-China trade war might be a good buying opportunity for the fund. The EPF has invested in about 40 countries abroad.
Moving forward, Alizakri, who replaced Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, disclosed that EPF would be transformed within three years to become the best choice for the workforce in the informal sector to contribute to the fund.
However, he did not want to elaborate on the transformation plan, concluding that “the fund would be a different animal in three years.”
Source/ Reference: https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2018/10/31/call-for-consolidated-social-wellbeing-blueprint/(As at 2.11.2018)
Singaporean of Singapore will be greatly benefited by attending the next upcoming Malaysian Budget 2019 of Malaysia Seminar to be announced by Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng on 2nd of November 2018 in Malaysian Parliament at 4 pm.