EPF scheme for housewives hits legal snag, govt to find other ways to fulfil manifesto promise

  • Nation
  • Friday, 08 Jun 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is still looking at ways to fulfil its manifesto promise to have an Employees Provident Fund (EPF) scheme for housewives.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said according to the law, the husbands' EPF contribution cannot be transferred to their wives.

"There is a problem in Section 51, you cannot touch the EPF contributed by the husband. The husband cannot take 2% out of the 11% of his EPF contribution for the wife," she told reporters after her first official visit to the National Population and Family Development Board on Thursday (June 7).

However, Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women Affairs Minister, said the Government is looking at other ways to introduce the initiative.

"There is a scheme called the 1Malaysia Retirement Savings Scheme (SP1M).

They (husbands) can volunteer to give their wives RM250 per year," she said.

She said the Government has pledged to chip in RM50 per month or RM600 per year for housewives' EPF.

"There is a way to try to top it up. We have to find a way or a scheme to do it," she said, adding that she has already spoken to the Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng on the matter.

The SP1M is a Government initiative to ensure that those who are self-employed and do not earn a regular income achieve a certain level of savings upon reaching retirement age.

Section 51 of the EPF Act 1991 prevents the savings of any EPF member from being assigned, attached or transferred in respect of any debt or claim.

Previously, it was suggested that the 2% EPF contribution for housewives will be taken from the 11% contribution from their spouses.

This would be topped up with a RM50 monthly contribution from the Government.

On Monday, Lim said in a statement that the ministry is ready to provide the necessary support that Dr Wan Azizah needs to make the new EPF scheme for housewives a success.

The initiative is in line with Pakatan Harapan's manifesto to increase social security among women who depend on their husbands for income.
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