EPF and Socso expand focus on informal sector

PETALING JAYA: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will be collaborating with the Social Security Organisation (Socso) to make contributions mandatory for the informal sector as an effort towards sustainable social security.

EPF chief executive officer and Asean Social Security Association (ASSA) vice-chairman Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah said the provident fund had expanded its focus towards the informal sector following the growing trend of the segment worldwide.

“Self-contribution is not a burden, but is part and parce” of investing in the future,” he told a press conference after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and ASSA.

“What we are trying to do is widen the umbrella and start with voluntary contributions as well as encourage people to come in voluntarily,” he said.

Socso group chief executive officer and ISSA president Datuk Sri Mohammed Azman Datuk Aziz Mohammed said there is a need to find ways to make contributions mandatory.

He said it is important to educate all stakeholders that social protection contribution is an investment.

Launching the 40th ASSA seminar and board meeting, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said the government would be adopting initiatives to achieve social protection reforms.

This included the formulation of policies on social protection systems through a life-cycle approach, formulating guidelines on informal workers for more comprehensive social protection and expanding the People’s Income Initiative programme.

“The Covid-19 pandemic was one of the most difficult periods in Malaysia’s history and one of the main lessons is that the government needs to build a robust social protection system for a more resilient society,” he said during his opening speech.

On a separate note, Ahmad Maslan said the suggested launch date for account three would be from April 2024.

The third account is an initiative by the EPF to allow flexibility in withdrawals for its members.

Ahmad Maslan added that the EPF dividend announcement would be in February 2024.

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