KUALA LUMPUR: There are no conditions attached for i-Sinar withdrawal application and what have been outlined are the criteria to ensure that the application matches the Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) internal data.
In a statement issued today in response to media query, the retirement fund said this is to ensure it will easily and securely expedite the approval process.
"The process of verification is required to avoid fraud and improper withdrawal of i-Sinar funds by third parties. For members who fulfill the criteria, their application will be approved automatically, ” the EPF said.
It said only confirmation of the maximum amount is required during member’s online application, which is not difficult.
As each member’s situation is unique, it said, Category 2 provides the opportunity for the EPF to consider certain situations such as a reduction in income based on their supporting documents. Members just need to apply online.
On why automatic approval could not be given for those who also applied for i-Lestari, the EPF explained that the country’s situation was different when it launched i-Lestari compared to now.
"Economic activity basically halted during those months (starting March). Now the economy is almost back to normal and most employees are back to work.
"Even so, the EPF understands that the economic situations of current members differ depending on the sector or industry they are working in, and i-Sinar will be available to assist them, ” it said.
For members who did not suffer a 30 per cent salary reduction but still require cash to sustain their livelihood in this pandemic, the EPF said there is still latitude under Category 2 to consider applications from all members who are affected by COVID-19.
"If you have suffered a reduction in income or salary and have the supporting documents to show for it, you are encouraged to apply on Jan 11,2021. The EPF will still consider your application.
"This is to ensure that the door is not closed and it provides an opportunity for as many members as possible to apply for i-Sinar, estimated to be eight million, ” it said.
As to why payments are staggered over the six-month period rather than being a lump sum payment, the EPF said it wishes to ensure members are assisted for as long as possible and understands that the first month is important for members to cover their liabilities and beginning-of-the-year expenses such as children’s schooling and the like.
"As such, the staggered approach in payment is based on a few criteria, including data on current liabilities of EPF members; the need to spread out the period of assistance due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic; and to balance the cashflow and current investments of the EPF, ” it said.
On cutting short the processing time, the EPF said for those in Category 1, the fund has expedited the application process via auto-approval using internal data. They are estimated to receive their first payment in mid-January 2021.
As for those in Category 2, the EPF estimated the processing time to be between two and three weeks from the date of application, to allow document verification and case-by-case consideration.
The members are estimated to receive their first payment by end of February.
Members are required to apply online and the EPF reminded that before doing so, they should ensure their i-Akaun is active, their phone number is update to receive TAC number (at EPF counter or kiosk) and their bank account number is active. - Bernama
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