Manage debts, build sufficient retirement fund – Musa

Teo (second left) beating the gong to mark the Retirement Talks with EPF launch at Suria Sabah Shopping Mall in Kota Kinabalu yesterday. He is accompanied by Shahril (second right), Azzadin (left) and Wong (right).

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman urged the people to manage their debts and build a sufficient retirement fund in preparation for an ageing nation in 2030.

Musa said the number of retirees and elderly people could exceed the working population and pose a challenge that could hamper the economic growth and wellbeing of Malaysia.

“Though Malaysia’s working population is currently high, we must start preparing now as by 2030 it is estimated that 15% of our population will comprise the elderly,” stated the Chief Minister, whose speech was delivered by Special Tasks Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang, at the Retirement Talks with Employees Provident Fund (EPF) launch at Suria Sabah Shopping Mall here yesterday.

“With a longer life expectancy projected for most Malaysians, now averaging 75 years, we will need more savings to finance a longer retirement period of beyond 20 years, if we are to retire at 55.

展e need to assess from now how to be prepared for a comfortable retirement and in ensuring that we have enough savings for our old age. We need to evaluate if we will have enough for our basic needs, given the rising cost of living and healthcare will become more of a concern as we grow older.

The Chief Minister said in order to achieve retirement goals and effective debt management, financial literacy must be increased among the people.

“EPF has focused its efforts on raising awareness on the importance of financial planning and savings for a comfortable retirement, not only among those who have savings with EPF but also the general public,”said Musa, whilst lauding the EPF and Credit Counseling and Debt Management (AKPK) collaboration on the financial literacy program here.

“Financial literacy programs such as these are essential in driving home the message to take charge of one’s finances. Being financially prepared is important to every Malaysian, particularly youths, who in turn are vital to our economic development.

“The government cannot do this alone. It is difficult to achieve a comprehensive and sustainable social security system for the entire nation without support from relevant parties,” he added.

EPF CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, AKPK CEO Azzadin Ngah Tasir and KTS Trading Sdn Bhd Sabah Area Operation Manager Wong Kee Mee were among those present at the event.

The two-day event, which started yesterday, will culminate today at the Lower Ground Floor of Suria Sabah Shopping Mall here in Sabah, and at The Spring Shopping Mall in Kuching on July 22 and 23.

The talks will revolve around the EPF Retirement Advisory Services, EPF Withdrawals and Online Service Channels and AKPK Debt Management.

The public’s questions on retirement and financial planning will be answered for free at both avenues.

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