Account 3 withdrawals based on personal reasons, needs

Photo: AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

PETALING JAYA: While accessing the Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) Akaun Fleksibel is to provide relief for immediate cash flow requirements, many individuals who utilised this option said it is not for lavish spending.

Art director Fitri Faizi, 40, from Shah Alam, said he withdrew RM2,500 from his Akaun Fleksibel to replenish funds he utilised earlier.

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“But I did not spend it all. I reserved a significant portion as emergency fund,” he said.

Fitri said most of his friends who made the withdrawal used it for personal expenses, and others for investment purposes.

“It’s up to them what they want to do. If they don’t manage their finances wisely, they might end up wasting it,” he said.

An entrepreneur who wanted to be known as Elena, 45, from Perak, said she withdrew RM20,000 to enhance her business investments.

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“I’ve been in the beauty products business for years and my business has shown consistent growth. I’ve been eager to elevate my business operations and the Akaun Fleksibel withdrawal came at the right time,” she said.

Elena, who diligently made voluntary contributions to her EPF from her business earnings over the years, emphasised the importance of making well-informed decisions before withdrawing funds.

“I chose to withdraw with the commitment to replenish the amount later. Our EPF savings serve as our safety net. Let’s handle them responsibly and avoid reckless spending,” she said.

Mohd Fairoz Fauzi, 39, a father of four, said he recently withdrew from Akaun 3 to buy essential items for his family.

“The prices of basic items have gone up and it is good that the government allowed us to make withdrawals.

“Previously, my monthly spending was just enough for our family but the withdrawals have made us more comfortable,” he said.

Fairoz, who is a hotel manager, said he does not plan to make big purchases or spend on holidays.

“It is just for our daily use. My wife is no longer working so I am happy because it helps my family,” he added.

Product specialist Liza Kang, 46, said her family held differing views on utilising the Akaun Fleksibel option.

“I have chosen not to make any withdrawals from my Akaun Fleksibel. I intend to allocate any future contributions to my Akaun 1 or 2, as I prefer to reserve my EPF savings exclusively for my retirement

“However, my younger brother thinks otherwise. Since his salary puts him in the T20 group, he has decided to withdraw a portion for a downpayment on a car he has been eyeing,” she said.

Kang said the withdrawal convenience catered differently to individuals, depending on their financial standing and retirement lifestyle aspirations.

Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) senior education officer NV Subbarow said it is important to not simply withdraw from the EPF’s Akaun Fleksibel as it should be used for retirement or emergencies.

He said it is common for consumers to withdraw money to make purchases without thinking about the consequences.

“Sometimes, we buy things we don’t need. Saving does not come to mind at all. This is unfortunate and may destroy the family’s saving pattern,” he said.

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