Zahid Tells EPF to Ease i-Sinar Withdrawals

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Umno chief Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has told the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to ease the process of i-Sinar withdrawals, after adverse reaction to the current arrangements from contributors on social media.

“At a time when the people are undergoing difficulties while facing the unprecedented conditions of the pandemic, we should ease (the process) and help meet their needs.

Hasnoor Hussain/TMI

“Therefore, I hope EPF will ease the process for contributors to withdraw their savings without conditions and they are given the option to withdraw a one-off sum of RM10,000,” he said in a statement today.

Zahid said he has taken note of all the people’s grouses on the conditions for withdrawals from Account 1.

He also said EPF appears not to be on the same page as Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz on the scheme.

Zahid added that Umno has always been consistent over the issue.

The i-Sinar scheme was introduced in Budget 2021, targeting EPF contributors who had lost jobs, allowing them to withdraw RM500 per month to a maximum of RM6,000 for 12 months.

Umno had demanded that EPF allow lump sum withdrawal of up to RM 10,000 as among its conditions to endorse the 2021 budget.

Apart from this demand, it also demanded that the blanket moratorium be extended to everyone and not be confined to some groups only.

The scheme has been amended and expanded to cover eight million contributors to include those who also took salary cuts. They can access 10% of their Account 1 funds from January.

The maximum amount that can be taken or advanced in the first withdrawal has also been raised to RM10,000, with the balance of the remaining 10% staggered over six months.

Budget 2021 also proposed a reduction of workers’ statutory contribution to the EPF to 9% from 11%, in order to leave contributors with a higher disposable income. – TMI