BUTTERWORTH: The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) is now confident that more parents would support the schemes it has drawn up to encourage every Malaysian to invest for their children’s education.
And with such culture enshrined among young families, the legacy problems over mounting debts incurred by students or their families can be curtailed over time, PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan, said.
It was reported that the number of students requiring loans from PTPTN, was expected to grow from 180,000 now to 250,000 by 2040 due to the population growth and the pressing need for higher educational studies and skills.
Malaysia is not alone as many countries including in US, are struggling to cope with student loan debts.
PTPTN has reportedly incurred up to RM40 billion of government-guaranteed debt, which is expected to double to RM76 billion in 20 years.
From RM56 billion that PTPTN has disbursed, only 32.5% were repaid.
So Wan Saiful said that PTPTN has embarked on a savings and investment drive to include all segments of society from the wealthy to the B40 earners.
And the annual dividends, which PTPTN dishes out is also expected to be competitive with an average of 4% each year, Wan Saiful disclosed.
The dividend amount and the latest financial performance of the fund would be disclosed in six weeks, he said after dispensing RM32,400 to nongovernmental organisations to buy school uniforms for the needy here.
It is part of the corporate social responsibility exercise by the corporation where up to RM600,000 was allocated to provide help nationwide for the needy, whose children would be attending the fresh school term next month.
To date, PTPTN has registered 4.2 million savings/investment accounts among parents keen to invest for their children’s higher education.
This year, over 370,000 new accounts were created and their savings have reached up to RM5 billion.
Among the incentives given was tax breaks for those who contributed over RM8,000 into their savings fund and a Takaful life insurance to cover the families who have registered for PTPTN.
For the low income group, PTPTN would provide matching grants to the savings total that they have incurred.
For example, Wan Saiful said that if they had invested RM1,000 for their children, PTPTN would match it by pumping in another RM1,000 so in total they have invested RM2,000.
For the private sector, Wan Saiful said that employers are given tax breaks if they can help their employees to settle their student loans in full or partly.