The provident fund, in a statement today, said the Annual Report 2017, released today, was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on April 3, 2018.
The report showed that there was also a 8.26% increase in total investment assets to RM791.48bil from RM731.11bil in 2016, it said.
EPF said this was against total members’ contributions of RM768.51bil as at Dec 31, 2017.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, said overall, it was a good year with a number of ‘firsts’ for the EPF.
“Most notably, it was the year we declared the first investment results and dividend rate for Simpanan Shariah. We ended the year with the highest ever gross investment income since 1951 at RM53.14bil with a gross return on investment of 7.30%, which was 18 basis points higher than in 2016,” he said.
Shahril said EPF has been making great strides in meeting the members’ needs as it has introduced more enhancements to its online channels.
“We are also close to achieving a 100% take-up rate of our e-Caruman portal by employers, which has proven to be an essential online facility to submit employee contribution details and make payments on time,” he said.
He said last year EPF put in place several initiatives to prepare itself for the future in meeting the changing demands of the members and employers as well as creating a very solid digital infrastructure.
“All these initiatives will enable us to effectively discharge our duty of safeguarding and preserving the value of our members’ savings and remain relevant to our members and employers.” Shahril said.
Shahril said the fund was pleased with the 2017’s performance as a whole as not only were it able to record good dividends, it was also able to delight its members and help employers fulfil their obligations.
On financial outlook, Shahril said, the fund anticipated continued market volatility and political uncertainty for the year ahead in both the domestic and global fronts.
“Nonetheless, we see this as an opportunity for us to maintain our financial performance and enhance investment returns over the long run,” he said.
Meanwhile, EPF said, out of the RM53.14bil gross investment income generated for the year, over 40% of it were contributed by investments in global assets despite constituting only 28% of its investment portfolio.
The EPF recorded strong overall performance across all asset classes within its portfolio, largely driven by investments in global equities that benefited from improved market conditions, it said.
It said as at Dec 31, 2017, the fund’s total investment asset was RM791.48bil.
The equities portfolio, which made up 42% of EPF’s total investment assets, generated RM31.47bil for the year, it said.
The EPF had earlier declared a dividend rate of 6.90% for Simpanan Konvensional, with a payout of RM44.15bil and 6.40% for Simpanan Shariah, with a payout of RM3.98bil.
“In total, the payout for 2017 amounted to RM48.13 billion, which represented an increase of 29.80% from 2016,” it said.
It said the total number of withdrawal applications rose by 3.84% to 2.45 million, out of which 2.32 million were approved applications, which amounted to RM49.40bil through various withdrawal schemes.
The EPF said beginning the third quarter of 2017, it undertook a major member and employer data reclassification exercise to realign its data according to the latest provisions of the EPF Act 1991.
The main objective of the reclassification exercise was to distinguish between members’ accounts with savings and those with zero savings (dormant account), it said.
“In addition, individuals and bodies falling within the definition stipulated in the EPF Act 1991 are now classified as ‘employers’, whereas those conducting activities under the informal sector have been classified as ‘self-employed’.
“Following the reclassification exercise, the total number of EPF members as at Dec 31, 2017 was 13.79 million, out of which 7.11 million were defined as ‘active’ (having contributed at least once in the past 12 months) while total number of contributing employers was 494,945,” it said.
The EPF said its strong digital push and continued focus on process enhancements had also seen excellent results in cost management.
At 26 basis points per asset under management, the EPF remained one of the most efficient fund managers in the world, it said.
It said there was also an increase in efficiency in member and employer services with 93% (60.68 million) of transactions conducted via multiple electronic and self-services channels, compared with 91% (55.41 million) in 2016.
“The EPF members’ i-Akaun mobile application has been enhanced further to include interface features to the new EPF account statement, push notifications, secured inbox and Frequently Asked Questions on Simpanan Shariah.
“It is clearly seen that the i-Akaun is becoming the transaction medium of choice among the EPF members with a significant 40% increase in registrations to 4.70 million from 3.36 million in the previous year,” it said. - Bernama
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