Employees Provident Fund (EPF) CEO Tunku Alizakri Alias has expressed the organisation’s satisfaction that the Budget 2020 has accounted for fast-changing demographics, evolving work environments and social well-being.
“The EPF is pleased some of the social concerns we have often raised have been heard by the government and reflected in the budget with unique solutions to the unique issues pertaining to the well-being of Malaysians," he said in a statement today.
“The EPF is honoured to be tasked with the administration of the [email protected] initiative, with the different @Work programmes aimed at providing employment opportunities for key segments of the Malaysian workforce as well as reducing our overdependence on low-skilled foreign workers,” he added.
“[email protected] is an important measure towards resolving critical talent issues in the country, such as low wages and high youth unemployment especially amongst new graduates as well as enabling a return-to-work programme for women."
He said that the implementation of [email protected] will also ensure that beneficiaries have their future retirement needs taken care of, as the incentives will be delivered via EPF channels.
"It is anticipated that part of the incentive will be immediately available to the recipients via a new withdrawal mechanism to be developed by EPF.”
The [email protected] programme also enables the cost of hiring locals in key sectors to be cheaper than hiring foreigners, as employer’s EPF contributions for the former will be offset by the government incentive offered, he said.
He also highlighted the expansion of education withdrawals, which allows EPF members to make withdrawals to fund their education from the certificate level onwards.
Tunku Alizakri added that tthis was made in view of the need to quickly upskill Malaysians with new competencies and skillsets to address the demands of a changing workforce environment.
“The expansion of the education withdrawal facility under Account Two to members’ spouses and parents, also looks to extend the productivity of EPF members’ families.
"Members can opt to financially support their spouses or parents to enroll in continuous learning programmes and ensure self-sufficiency beyond retirement," Tunku Alizakri said.
He also highlighted social security coverage, subfertility treatment withdrawals and the contribution programme for spouses as other developing spheres.
"Under the contribution programme, the EPF provides an avenue for husbands to voluntarily transfer two percent out of the minimum 11 percent monthly EPF contribution into their wives’ EPF accounts.
“The EPF has always acknowledged women, irrespective of whether they have full-time careers or are housewives, as valuable and significant contributors to the economy. Women tend to shoulder the bigger part of the responsibility for caregiving duties in the family," said Tunku Alizakri.