Budget 2020: EPF to allow couples to withdraw for fertility treatments

12 Oct 2019 / 14:30 H.

KUANTAN: The proposed new withdrawal category to allow contributors of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to seek fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) will open up opportunities for married couples to experience the joy of parenthood.

Zainuddin Osman, 51, who welcomed his bundle of joy after 12 years of marriage described the proposal tabled in the 2020 Budget yesterday as good news as not all couples have the opportunity and means to obtain the high-cost fertility treatments.

“Based on my experience, couples usually used up their savings (to obtain fertility treatments), and yet not all treatments will be successful.

“The EPF’s new withdrawal category will now allow couples who are trying to conceive to obtain early treatment which may increase their chances of having children due to age factors particularly for the women,” he said when contacted by Bernama yesterday.

Zainuddin and his wife Nor Rabiatun Razali, 42, are now proud parents to their only child Puteri Norliyana Damia, seven, after undergoing fertility treatment under the Tunku Azizah Fertility Foundation (TAFF).

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in tabling the 2020 Budget at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday said the EPF would introduce a new category of withdrawal to allow couples to seek fertility treatment such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedure.

“I hope couples to take the opportunity because sometimes we really want to put extra efforts (to conceive) but held back due to financial constraints,” Zainuddin said.

Meanwhile, Bachok district information officer Ahmad Nizam Abidin, 49, who waited 11 years before welcoming his first child under TAFF, said the new withdrawal category was timely as having a child was the biggest dream of majority of married couples.

“The announcement is in line with the concept of family ... as the amount accumulated (in the EPF) does not mean much if the contributor does not have any heir to benefit from the savings.

“This is a good start and I hope that if there is more provision, the government to help lower the cost of IVF treatment so that more people can obtain it,” he said.

Ahmad Nizam admitted he was very lucky to undergo IVF treatment under TAFF after 11 years of struggling to conceive, knowing that there were couples who were still waiting for their turn even after 22 years of marriage. — Bernama

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