Finance Ministry: 3.6 million EPF contributors have less than RM1,000 in their accounts

Umno activists still want EPF to allow more withdrawals when 6.1 million members have less than RM10,000 in their accounts and 3.6 million have less than RM1,000

(MMO) – The Ministry of Finance (MoF) today said that there are 3.6 million Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors who only have less than RM1,000 in their accounts.

In a parliamentary written reply to Pandan MP Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today, MoF said that based on the assessment as of September 30, contributors had been withdrawing some RM101 billion through i-Lestari, i-Sinar and i-Citra programmes which were set up by the government during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Some 6.1 million members have less than RM10,000 in their accounts.

“From that number, 3.6 million contributors have less than RM1,000,” said the reply.

Dr Wan Azizah had asked the government to reveal figures of active EPF contributors having savings less than RM50,000.

MOF also highlighted that EPF savings among Bumiputeras have also dwindled as they estimated around 78 per cent of them had applied to withdraw their money.

The ministry noted that 4.4 million or 54 per cent of Bumiputera members currently have less than RM10,000 in their respective accounts.

“Two million, or 25 per cent, have less than RM1,000 in their savings,” MoF said.

In the same answer, EPF also said that about five million B40 community contributors have seen their savings reduced to an average of RM1,005.

On October 31, the EPF had said that RM101 billion has been disbursed to over 7.4 million members — about half its total members — to cope with the pandemic, following the introduction of the special withdrawal facilities of i-Lestari, i-Sinar and i-Citra.

The three exceptional withdrawals have left 73 per cent or nearly three-quarters of EPF members in a serious state of having inadequate funds to retire above the poverty line, it had said in a statement.

EPF also estimates that members will need to work an extra four to six years to rebuild savings that have been used during the pandemic, which has also led to a significant drop in the percentage of members meeting the Basic Savings threshold (RM240,000 at age 55) from 36 per cent in 2020 to an estimated 27 per cent by the end of this year.