EPF still a hot topic for debate among MPs in Dewan Rakyat


KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 27): As the current Parliament sitting enters its third week, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) continues to be a hot topic for debate among MPs, who chimed in with various ideas and opinions about the country’s pension fund.

During the Supply Bill 2023 debate session today, Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) initially expressed his concern about the median EPF contributor’s savings dropping from RM16,000 in the year before the Covid-19 pandemic to RM8,100 in 2022.

He said the government should create a long-term plan that operates in tandem with the EPF to ensure that retirees are not affected by the lack of savings in the future and urged that the government study the Norway government pension fund, especially in the aspects of managing natural resources effectively, which enabled its citizens to benefit from it.

“If most of Petronas’ profits are locked away in a trust like how Norway does it, Malaysians might own assets worth US$1 trillion (RM4.4 trillion), which could directly guarantee the future of retirees,” he said.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin had earlier urged the government to permit targeted EPF withdrawals for those in need by looking for a suitable mechanism.

Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan (PN-Tasek Gelugor) meanwhile, asked the government to consider targeted withdrawals as the people were facing a difficult time with rising living costs.

“EPF contributors are those who have contributed and saved for their future, but it’s unfortunate that they are faced with difficulties so soon before retirement. That’s why I’m asking that the government consider targetted withdrawals,” he added.

Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (PN-Pasir Mas) meanwhile described the government’s RM500 additional contribution for EPF contributors aged 40 to 54 with less than RM10,000 savings as not having any impact on recipients.

“The RM500 is good but it doesn’t have any impact as recipients can only use it after several years,” he added. — Bernama