PETALING JAYA: Employees Provident Fund (EPF) members can apply for the RM500 monthly withdrawal during the Covid-19 pandemic through the i-Lestari Account 2 Withdrawal Scheme beginning April 1, says the fund’s chief executive officer Alizakri Alias.
He said the decision to allow withdrawals from the retirement fund was considered carefully after weighing between caring for the wellbeing and the safeguarding of old age savings of its millions of members.
In a statement on Monday (March 23), the EPF said economists have agreed that the measure announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to allow EPF members below the age of 55 to withdraw up to RM500 each month for a year would help boost private consumption and cushion the impact of the pandemic on the Malaysian economy.
“EPF members may apply from next month. They can expect their savings to be deposited into their bank accounts from May 1.
“i-Lestari will provide some relief to those financially affected during this period of uncertainty.
“As a retirement fund, the EPF has to strike a balance between our mandate to safeguard our members’ retirement savings and caring for their wellbeing, ” said Alizakri.
He also said that allowing the withdrawal would require an amendment to the EPF Act 1991 under Section 54 (6).
“We are placing i-Lestari as our top priority for an urgent roll-out.
“We have a dedicated email for i-Lestari – email@example.com – for members to send in their queries.
“These will then be collated and added to our list of FAQs on our website, www.kwsp.gov.my, ” said Alizakri.
He also reminded the public to beware of fake news in relation to the withdrawals.
“It is especially important to practice discretion when reading the news and social media.
“There are a lot of scammers and rumours going around, especially through WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.
“The EPF only communicates to the public via our website and our official social media channels, ” said Alizakri.
In announcing the measure, Muhyiddin said the scheme was expected to benefit more than 12 million EPF members with a total withdrawal of about RM40bil.
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