In a statement today, EPF said this showed that more members were becoming financial savvy to better manage their retirement savings, in view of improvement in life expectancy for Malaysians.
This is evident through the rise of the EPF Flexible Age 55 withdrawals in the second quarter of this year, with total applications surging 43% to 37,602 compared with 26,313 in the same quarter in 2011, it said.
EPF CEO Azlan Zainol said the total amount withdrawn under the flexible withdrawals jumped 53.99%, amounting to RM1.51 billion, compared with RM981.37 million in the same quarter in
Azlan said in the light of the increase in life expectancy, flexible withdrawals had gained ground among members who reached 55 years of age since its introduction in 2007.
“It is heartening to note that total applications under Flexible Age 55 Withdrawals in the second quarter of 2012 have increased significantly by 178% compared with 13,533 applications during the same quarter three years ago (2009) as members become more aware of the need to enhance and stretch their retirement savings for a longer period,” he said.
Apart from flexible withdrawals, members could also opt for lump sum withdrawals after 55 years old, he said.
He said the increase in members’ awareness on the importance of managing their retirement savings efficiently could be further seen when total applications approved for lump sum withdrawal saw only a nominal growth of 1.62% during the quarter with 44,391 applications compared with 43,683 applications in the same quarter of 2011.
The amount withdrawn during the quarter for the lump sum withdrawal amounted to RM1.86 billion, up 11.24%, from RM1.67 billion in the same quarter last year.
Under education withdrawal, total applications approved increased 19.85% to 16,677 applications during the second quarter this year from 13,915 during the second quarter in 2011 with total amount withdrawn reaching RM73.70 million from RM67.53 million in the corresponding period in 2011.
To safeguard members’ retirement savings, the EPF has taken strict action against members for their involvement in fraudulent withdrawals.
Since Jan 1 until June 30, 2012, 16 cases had been filed with the courts while 26 police reports had been lodged for fraudulent withdrawals.
During the same period, 11 members had been convicted and fined a total of RM23,500 by the courts for the said offence.
Currently, the EPF served 13.35 million members, up 3.27% from 12.93 million members in second quarter of 2011.