PETALING JAYA: The Finance Ministry has confirmed that the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is working towards removing all conditions for the i-Sinar withdrawal facility, says its minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Aziz.
He said the decision was based on the advice of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for EPF to improve its initiative after taking public feedback into consideration.
"This in turn will help tide members over through the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic," he said in a statement on Thursday (Feb 11).
The Star revealed in a front-page story on Thursday that the i-Sinar facility is set to be relaxed further to give more EPF members the option of withdrawing money from Account 1 to meet their living needs.
The report said the current withdrawal eligibility criteria including a 30% drop in income was quite limited in view of the existing movement control order and its effect on the economy and the general public.
Tengku Zafrul said the removal of conditions will allow EPF members under the age of 55 to withdraw from their Account 1 funds, subject to their existing balance.
"For members who have already applied for i-Sinar under the current criteria, their applications will be automatically approved in due course," he said.
He said the ceiling amount for withdrawal from Account 1 as well as the maximum six-month payment schedule of the amount withdrawn, however, will remain.
"For those with RM100,000 and below, they can withdraw up to RM10,000.
"The payments will be staggered over a period of six months with the first payment amount of up to RM5,000," he said.
"For those who have more than RM100,000, they can withdraw up to 10% of their Account 1 savings.
"However, the maximum total amount allowed to be advanced is RM60,000," said the Finance Minister.
He said the payments will also be staggered over a period of six months with the first payment amount of up to RM10,000.
"Due to system and internal process changes required for i-Sinar online, it will take the EPF some time to implement these latest updates.
"The fund will announce further details soon and the government appreciates members’ patience and understanding while these changes are being made," said Tengku Zafrul.
Members, he said, are also advised to refer to information from EPF’s official communication channels and be mindful of misleading information aimed at confusing or defrauding members.