EPF announces four enhancements to schemes

KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF), which announced four enhancements to its schemes and policies effective Jan 1, is allowing members aged 55 to 100 to make withdrawals of any amount from their accounts.

The age cap for contributors have been extended to 100 years, from 75 years currently. This enhancement is in line with the extension of dividend payment from age 75 to 100.

Currently, the policy for Akaun 55 and Akaun Emas (for those who are working until 60 years of age) only allows a minimum withdrawal of RM2,000 once every 30 days. This has been abolished.

From next year, members who opt for the monthly withdrawal scheme will be allowed to take out as little as RM100 monthly (the current minimum amount is RM250 per month). EPF contributors may also opt to make a combination of monthly and partial withdrawals.

Another measure announced is the option to appoint Amanah Raya Bhd as the nominee/administrator or trustee for their EPF funds, that is expected to facilitate faster and equitable distribution of their savings to next-of-kin, upon their demise. It would be especially beneficial for members with children below 18 years old. This new option is in addition to members' existing right to appoint any individual persons as nominees.

The current death benefit of RM2,500 claimable if the member dies before age 55, will also be extended until age 60.

EPF chief executive officer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said the enhancements are part of EPF's continuing efforts to improve and meet members' increasing expectations based on feedback received.

"EPF anticipates a majority of our members will be facing increasing challenges in preparing for their retirement, with the dramatic demographic shift facing both Malaysia and the world, as well as the advent of the next industrial revolution."

As of Sept 30, EPF has revised its number of members to 17.8 million members by excluding those with zero balance in their accounts. This comprises 13.73 million members and 4.01 million dormant accounts.

It has also revised its number of employers to 548,079, by excluding those with self-employed status.