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Saturday April 21, 2007

Groups express shock over EPF move on contributions


KUALA LUMPUR: Workers groups have expressed shock that employees aged above 55 will have their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributions slashed by half under the proposed EPF Bill (Amendment) 2007.  

The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) described the proposal as unfair and an exploitation of that group of workers. Cuepacs vowed to take up the issue at its Congress meeting today. 

“We will not agree to it,” said Cuepacs president Omar Osman. 

He said the 43,000 civil servants who had opted for the EPF scheme were already at a disadvantage compared to those under the pension scheme as the Government did not provide them with free medical treatment after retirement. 

“So if you slash their EPF contributions too, this will cause them even more hardship,” he added. 

It was reported that under the proposed amendments, once an employee reached 55 years of age, he or she would only have to contribute 6.2% of their salary to the EPF instead of the current 12%. 

Employees who contribute 11% of their salary to the fund, would, after the age of 55, only contribute 5.7%. 

MTUC deputy president Mohamed Shafie Mammal said the proposal was tantamount to punishing senior citizens. 

“They are doing the same work. They should be enjoying the same benefits as the rest of us. There is no reason to slash contributions. This is blatant discrimination on those aged 55 and above and very unfair,” he added. 

“We are supposed to be a caring society,” he added.  

Federation of Consumers Asso-ciation (Fomca) president N. Mari-mutu asked how the contributions could be slashed with the retirement trend moving towards the age of 60. 

“Contributions for older and the younger workers should not be different,” he said.  

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