PETALING JAYA: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has declared a dividend rate of 6.40% for 2015 with a total payout of RM38.24bil.
The increase was in tandem with the growth in EPF investment assets, which stood at RM684.53bil as at Dec 31, 2015.
In a statement, the EPF said it recorded RM44.23bil in gross income for the last financial year, an increase of 13.18% over the RM39.08bil figure in 2014.
EPF chairman Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said the gross investment income achieved was due to its diversification strategy across multiple asset classes in various countries and markets.
"Although the correlation is high among global markets, the diversification strategy allowed us to take opportunities through profit realisation and seek potential investments at attractive valuations.
"The EPF's diversification into global assets and currencies allowed it to realise significant gains with profits from non-ringgit sources making up 48% of the its total gross investment income throughout the year.
"As a retirement savings fund, our investments have always emphasised on sustainability of returns over a long term horizon as opposed to short term gains," he said.
Samsudin described the 6.4% dividend rate as a "commendable performance" given the prevailing challenges.
He said more importantly, the EPF was able to meet its two strategic investment targets of at least 2.5% nominal dividend on a yearly basis as required by the EPF Act 1991 and at least 2% real dividend on a rolling three-year basis.
Commenting on the economic climate, Samsudin cautioned that this year would be more challenging.
"A combination of growth fears and depressed commodity prices have seen most major indices fall, including the FBMKLCI, since the start of the year.
"This is a very different climate than the first half of last year in which our investments in global markets were able to mitigate the impact from the domestic market downturn," he said.
Samsudin said the volatility in the currency markets would make it difficult for the EPF to repeat the outperformance in global assets recorded last year.
"Nevertheless, we will continue to preserve and further enhance the value of capital from members' contribution by maintaining stable and consistent returns over the long term within tolerable risk limits," he said.
Last year's dividend can be viewed via EPF's Facebook page at "Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja", Twitter at KWSPBuzz and on YouTube at KWSP Malaysia.
The latest EPF account statement is available online via i-Akaun at myEPF website (www.kwsp.gov.my)
Alternatively, members can obtain their statement via EPF kiosks or visit any EPF branches.