Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has announced that the government is allowing Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors to withdraw another RM10,000 from their retirement fund. He made the announcement during a brief live address to the nation today at 1.30pm.
Prior to this, the government has authorised three EPF withdrawal schemes namely i-Lestari, i-Sinar and i-Citra. There were a total of RM101 billion worth of withdrawals involving 7.34 million contributors since Malaysia has hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Ismail Sabri said based on detailed study and assessment during the recovery phase of the pandemic, there are Malaysians who are still affected economically, unemployed, and are still trying to rebuild their lives. After evaluating the requests, the government has decided to allow the special EPF withdrawal of up to RM10,000. He said the decision was a difficult one as it involves the future savings of citizens and the special withdrawal is the middle path to balance the needs of today as well as the future.
At the moment, EPF has not made any announcement and the name of the EPF withdrawal scheme isn’t revealed yet. More details should be revealed within the coming weeks. Recently, they have announced a 6.1% dividend for conventional savings for 2021. Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said recently that the dividend rate should have been higher at 6.7% if there were no outflows of savings by its members.
Politicians across the political divide have been calling for another EPF withdrawal to assist individuals who are struggling to make ends meet. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim had supported calls for another round of withdrawal during the campaign period for the Johor state elections. Former Prime Minister Najib Razak has also shared that the EPF withdrawal should be allowed before the upcoming Ramadhan month.
[ UPDATE 20:20 16/3/2022 ] EPF has revealed that the special withdrawal scheme will be open to all EPF contributors aged below 55 years old. Applications will be available from 1st to 30th April, exclusively online. The disbursement of funds will start from 20th April 2022. Members can request to withdraw between RM50 to RM10,000, subject to the availability of funds. Funds in Account 2 will be utilised first before Account 1.