EPF proposal draws flak

Ready to serve: An EPF employee attending to questions from customers at a service counter at the EPF headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. EPF contributors are both amused and perplexed at the fund’s various proposals in recent weeks. - filepic

MANY feel the Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) proposal to allow members who keep their money in the fund till the age of 100 to continue receiving dividends is illogical.

They were of the opinion that to withdraw at that age was too late to enjoy the benefits.

S. Gunaseelan, 52, a clerk at a legal firm, said the money belongs to members for them to use when the time was right, so why should EPF decide that option.

“If EPF can give me the assurance that we can live up to the age of 100, then maybe I can accept their reasoning for the proposal.

“I would maybe withdraw my EPF savings by the age of 60, because I will need that money for my children’s education and I don’t want to go around borrowing money.

“I wonder why they need to come up with such options in the first place? Just let the original option of withdrawing one-third of the sum at the age of 50, with the full amount taken out upon reaching 55 stand,” he added.

Retired civil servant Ishak Johari, 62, said that option was definitely not logical.

Ishak said life and death is not something anyone can predict.

“If the Prime Minister had not made the announcement that members can withdraw at the age of 55, I dread to think what would have happened.

“It is our hard-earned money and they (EPF) will decide when and how we can withdraw our payment?” he asked.

Ishak said with the current environment, stress levels and the goods and services tax, people were being burdened in many ways.

“So many people need the money at the age of 55, probably for their children’s education or for their medical expenses,” he added.

Businesswoman Lim Sok Wah, 58, said she has yet to withdraw her EPF money, but she disagreed with the option to keep the money in the fund till the age of 100.

She said she might not even be alive at that age to enjoy the money.

“Despite the interest rates being higher than the bank’s, to keep the money in the fund till age 100 does not make sense,” she added.

Brenda Lim, 48, a marketing consultant, said there was no reason to keep her hard-earned money in the fund till the age of 100.

She said most of them worked hard all their life only to look forward to withdrawing the money by the age of 60.

“We need the money for our medical expenses or maybe some of us just want to travel. Some may want to use that money for their children’s education.

“So we work hard, keep the money in the fund up to the age of 100, then when we die, our beneficiaries enjoy the money, that just doesn’t sound right,” she added.

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