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Sunday April 22, 2007

Proposal for EPF may be studied


PUTRAJAYA: The Human Resources Ministry is willing to look into the proposed amendments to slash senior citizens' contribution to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). 

Deputy Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakar said that although the fund came under the Finance Ministry, it understood the concerns of various groups, particularly workers’ unions. 

“So far, we have not received any complaint or protest from groups such as MTUC against the proposed amendment. 

“However, as the ministry is in charge of local workers, we understand their concerns,” he said. 

“So we are willing to look into the effects that this will have on local workers,” he said in an interview yesterday when commenting on the proposed EPF Bill (Amendment) 2007. 

The Bill proposes to reduce the contribution of employees above 55 to 6.2% (from 11% currently) and employers to 5.7% (from 12%). 

Under the amendment, employers will contribute only RM5 each month for each foreign worker. 

This has raised fears that it would make it more “attractive” to employ foreigners. 

MTUC has described the proposal as unfair and an exploitation of senior workers. 

Cuepacs said it would write to the EPF for an explanation. 

Cuepacs president Omar Osman told the press after a special congress meeting yesterday that the rate of contribution should stay the same or even increase.  

On another matter, Omar said Cuepacs had written to the Finance Ministry on the 50% gratuity deduction from civil servants who took a second home loan.  

“It is a big problem for civil servants who have a very low pension – 50% off their gratuity is too much,” he said. 

He added that many civil servants were not aware of this.  

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