KOTA KINABALU: Eager applicants have been flooding the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) building near Karamunsing here after registration for Caruman Sukarela Insentif Suri (i-Suri) opened on Wednesday, according to an EPF representative.
Throngs of single mothers, housewives, widows and divorcees could be seen being assisted by officers to register for i-Suri from as early as 8.30am to closing time at 4.30pm.
The representative said response had been positive for i-Suri and those eligible were appreciative of the scheme, which allows a minimum contribution of RM5 per month into their retirement savings accounts in order to be eligible to receive the government incentive of RM40 monthly, which will be deposited into their EPF accounts.
One widow, who identified herself as Connie, agreed it was a good scheme and commended the government for fulfilling another promise in their election manifesto.
“I appreciate that the new government is really doing a lot of things for the rakyat. It’s good that they think of ladies, especially those with little to no income,” she said.
However, Connie expressed mixed feelings as she was not eligible for i-Suri at 64 years old.
She went on to suggest the age limit of 18 to 60 years old be extended to aid more women.
“I believe those above 60 should also be entitled to this scheme because in a sense, we’ve contributed more to the country as we’ve been here even before independence.
“Maybe the government could consider extending the age limit to assist more women above the age of 60 because the older we get, the more support we need,” she said.
Meanwhile, housewife Anne was grateful for i-Suri as she felt it would ease the financial burden on her family.
Anne, who is a mother of three, expressed hope that the scheme would continue to exist in the future to provide sustainable, long-term assistance to those eligible.
Housewives, widows and single mothers with profiles in the National Database on Poverty (eKasih) can register for i-Suri and enjoy the same benefits as EPF members, such as annual dividends on retirement savings, Age 50, 55 and 60 Withdrawal, Incapacitation Benefit and Death Benefit. This is in addition to the RM40 incentive by the government.
According to eKasih statistics, a total of 221,890 housewives, 98,536 widows and 28,116 divorcees from the hardcore poor would benefit from the government incentive by participating in i-Suri.