Be prudent when withdrawing savings, EPF members advised
Tan Sri T C Goh
5 March 2023
By Wartawan Nabalu News
KUALA LUMPUR: The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) has stated that it finds 5.35 per cent dividend rate declared by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for Conventional Savings for 2022 and a 4.75 pc Syariah Savings for 2022 to be acceptable.
Its president Tan Sri T C Goh expressed hope that the EPF would be able to pay higher dividends to its members in the following year, given that better returns are expected post-pandemic.
While the two categories of dividends are higher than last year's inflation rate of 3.3%, they are comparatively lower than the 5.8% inflation rate for food items for the same period.
Goh who is also the President of the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) believes that this indicates the need for the present government to address the high cost of living facing the people.
Therefore, he advised EPF members to be prudent with their savings and not to withdraw them before reaching retirement age, unless absolutely necessary.
He also encouraged them to top up their EPF contribution voluntarily, if their financial capacity allowed, to ensure better financial security upon retirement.
Goh acknowledged that the EPF's 5.35% dividend rate is the second-lowest in the past 10 years. However, he pointed out that it is still comparatively higher than the interest rates of fixed deposit savings of various commercial banks, as well as The National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN).
He commended EPF for prudent management of its funds, which enabled it to maintain steady returns from its investments and declare a dividend rate acceptable to its members.
Goh also acknowledged that the government's consent for EPF members to withdraw their savings during the pandemic period had inevitably affected their savings, as well as EPF funds and investments to a certain degree.
Nonetheless, he is confident that with the global and domestic economy recovering steadily post-pandemic, EPF, with its prudent fund management and advantages, would be able to perform better and declare higher dividend rates to its members in the coming year.