PETALING JAYA: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) reported that 40% more contributors reaching the age of 55 and 60 in the second quarter of 2018, opted to retain part of their savings with EPF to earn dividends. There was a 48.65% increase to 67,969 (RM2.92 billion) approved applications for “Age 55 Flexible Withdrawal” in the second quarter, compared with 45,723 (RM1.78 billion) in the corresponding period in 2017. Approved applications for “Age 60 Flexible Withdrawal” recorded a 43.16% rise to 40,276 (RM861.30 million) in Q2 2018 from 28,133 (RM637.61 million) in Q2 2017. EPF deputy CEO (Operations) Datuk Mohd Naim Daruwish said the steady increase of the total number of flexible withdrawals reveals members’ growing preference to retain part of their savings with the EPF, in order to continue receiving dividends on the balance in their account. “There are several options under the Flexible Withdrawal and we strongly encourage members who have reached age 55 or 60 to seek free advice from our Retirement Advisory Service (RAS) to understand the options that suit their financial position and needs before deciding on which type of withdrawal to make.” For Q2 2018, the number of visitors to the RAS counters grew 27.42% to 16,696 from 13,103 in the corresponding period last year. During the quarter under review, the total number of approved applications for all withdrawals increased 4.87% to 598,919 from 571,130 in Q2 2017. This involved the total amount being withdrawn in Q2 2018 to RM12.65 billion, compared with RM12.48 billion in the corresponding period in 2017. The total number of approved applications for “Age 55 Full Withdrawal” in Q2 2018 dropped 50.45% to 20,769 (RM1.30 billion) from 41,914 (RM2.51 billion) in the corresponding quarter in 2017. Approved applications for “Age 60 Full Withdrawal” recorded a slight increase of 8.97% to 15,554 (RM291.32 million) in Q2 2018 from 14,273 (RM366.20 million) in Q2 2017. As at end-June 2018, the number of EPF members totaled 13,996,515, of whom 7,213,774 were active contributors, with 115,125 newly registered members. In tandem with the increase in membership, the EPF recorded a 9.99% increase in contributions received in the second quarter to RM18.17 billion from RM16.52 billion recorded in the same quarter last year, bringing the total accumulated members’ contributions to RM780.07 billion, a rise of 9.55% from RM712.04 billion in Q2 2017.