Millions of contributors have less than RM5,000 in their EPF account

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Only some 8.7 million Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors will be able to take out up to RM5,000 from the fund under the latest round of withdrawals allowed under the new i-Citra programme.

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz today revealed that another 3.7 million EPF members are eligible to withdraw their savings from the fund but cannot do so as they currently have less than RM5,000 in the account.

“There are a total of 12.4 million contributors who are eligible to withdraw their EPF savings under the i-Citra programme.

“Of this number, only 8.7 million have enough savings (more than RM5,000) while the other 3.7 million have less than RM5,000 in their account,” he told reporters during a virtual press conference earlier today.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced a fresh RM150 billion new Covid-19 aid package called Pemulih which stands for Pakej Perlindungan Rakyat dan Pemulihan Ekonomi (The People’s Protection and Economic Recovery package).

Under this package, the government is allowing another round of EPF withdrawals under which contributors can withdraw up to RM5,000 at a rate of RM1,000 a month for five months.

Zafrul was also asked whether EPF could sustain another round of heavy withdrawals.

On this, Zafrul said they had to balance EPF’s responsibilities with the needs of the people who were financially challenged.

“Today we are facing a major crisis, so we need to do what we can to assist those who need help,” he said.

According to the minister, they estimated that withdrawals under i-Citra would amount to around RM30 billion and this was not expected to impact the liquidity of the equity and bond markets. – Malaysiakini