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Use special lifeline wisely, contributors advised

22 Feb 2021 / 11:06 H.

PETALING JAYA: While the i-Sinar scheme by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is a welcome relief for those who have lost jobs due to Covid-19, financial experts have cautioned that these people run a risk of having insufficient funds upon retirement if too much money is withdrawn now.

Asmadi Husna, 34, a photographer at a startup company in Selangor, told theSun that her salary had been cut by 20% since last August, and with her loan moratorium expiring next month, this is all the more reason to withdraw money from EPF.

“I do not have enough savings to cover all the bills and utilities as I have to start saving to pay my housing and car loans.

“I have just enough money to sustain myself and my two daughters who are still schooling,” she said, adding that her husband lost his job early this year.

“It is a relief that now my husband and I can apply to withdraw as much as possible from
i-Sinar to make loan payments,” she added.

However, Finwealth Management Sdn Bhd director of financial planning Felix Neoh advised people to stick to the plan of withdrawing what is needed and not what they can to ensure a brighter retirement future.

“EPF should really be your last resort. First, determine how much you need before making a withdrawal as the potential risk of jeopardising your future retirement security with unnecessary withdrawals is there,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Financial Planning Council president Vincent S.K. Kwo said a financial check ought to be undertaken by members.

“They should be aware of their liquidity ratio to determine how long they can survive by determining the available cash and/or equivalent of cash (such as assets) and divide it by the monthly expenses,” he said.

“EPF is the main pillar of retirement savings in Malaysia. The Council has strongly advocated for Malaysians to use the medium as one of the methods of planning for their retirement, and any withdrawal must be a last resort.”

The Council is available to help the public better manage their money and is offering a free programme on the basics of financial literacy via https://www.gokelas.com/course/mymoney/.

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