Many struggling to survive even after dipping into EPF savings

GEORGE TOWN: Despite withdrawing from his Employees’ Provident Fund savings, a taxi driver here has to drive lorries on a part-time basis to raise his four schoolgoing children.

Single parent Ishak (not his real name) said he has no choice

“As a taxi driver, I have not contributed to EPF for the past 15 years. The last time was when I worked at a factory before I got married.

“However, when the government introduced the i-Citra initiative last year, I withdrew from EPF twice, RM10,000 first and then RM5,000,” said the 43-year-old.

“Because of that, my EPF savings have dropped to less than RM10,000.”

Since losing his wife six years ago, Ishak said it has been a struggle to care for his three sons and daughter, aged between seven and 17.It was reported on Nov 1 that the EPF is now focused on helping members rebuild their savings for their retirement following the special withdrawal facilities due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

These withdrawals – i-Lestari, i-Sinar and i-Citra – resulted in a total of RM101bil being disbursed to over 7.4 million members, which is close to half of EPF members.

The EPF said while the funds provided some financial relief to members during the pandemic, the withdrawals led to 6.1 million members now having less than RM10,000 in their EPF accounts.

Another 3.6 million members have less than RM1,000.

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