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BY WONG PEK MEI
RETIREMENT may not seem important to think about when you are young.
But before you know it, the years have caught up and realisation sets in that there is not enough money to sustain yourself.
This is what Employees Provident Fund (EPF) strategic management manager Jamaliah Awang hopes to avoid with a StarLIVE talk titled “Are Your Retirement Savings Sufficient?”.
She will be elaborating on issues and challenges faced by EPF members including the demographic change in the country towards an ageing nation.
“Some 38% of or 2.8 million active members achieved the Basic Savings quantum according to the age band while 65% of our total members have savings lower than RM50,000 at the age of 54, which is insufficient.
“The estimated lifespan in Malaysia is up to 75 years on average,” she said.
She said she would be explaining more on this during her talk to create awareness and encourage members to contribute more to their EPF account, depending on the lifestyle they want to have during their retirement.
Jamaliah said she would also be elaborating on the enhanced EPF schemes such as the Simpanan Syariah.
“Members can convert their conventional EPF savings to Simpanan Syariah.
“To be eligible for Simpanan Syariah 2017, members must submit their application by Dec 23,” she said.
It was previously reported that the scheme is an option with no turning back as once a member migrates his or her savings with the EPF to the new shariah-compliant investment scheme, he or she will not be allowed to switch back to the existing conventional scheme.
Jamaliah will also talk about the contribution by both employees and employers, and will go according to the minimun wage rate.
To add to that, she will also be speaking on how the family structure has changed to that of a sandwich family, a structure comprising couples who are caring for and are “sandwiched” between their parents and children.
“It is good to have the family together, meaning the children will have their parents with them as well as their own children.
“It will be challenging for them to do financial planning, not only for themselves but also for both their parents and children.
“One of the main things they must take into consideration is the cost of healthcare,” she said.
She said she would end the session by informing participants that members could stagger their savings and withdraw their savings monthly once they reach retirement.
“It is more flexible than what members may perceive it to be. They do not need to withdraw their savings in one lump sum,” she said, adding she would also touch on EPF’s new initiative, Akaun Emas, which will take effect from Jan 1.
New contributions after age 55 are credited into Akaun Emas. The accumulated five-year contributions can only be withdrawn at age 60 where no more pre-retirement withdrawals are allowed until the member turns 60.
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