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EPF withdrawal: Women against proposed amendment

 | July 18, 2012

Sarawak women have launched a Facebook petition against the federal government's decision to raise the age limit of EPF withdrawals.

KUCHING: The women in Sarawak are upset at the federal government’s arbitrary decision to raise the age limit for the full withdrawal of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to 60 years.

“It is a blatant disrespect for the people because the government made the decision without taking the feedback from us and it involves our money directly,” said Voon Shiak Ni, a lawyer here.

Voon was commenting on the statement by Deputy Finance Minister Donald Lim Siang Chai who said that the age for full withdrawal from the EPF by contributors will be raised to 60 and partial withdrawal to 55 years.

The planned amendment to the EPF Act 1991 follows the passing of the Minimum Retirement Age Bill 2012 in Parliament last month, which extends the minimum age for private sector employees from 55 to 60.

Lim had reportedly said the decision was “a consequential move”.

“With the minimum retirement age, we have to raise the age of EPF withdrawal. The decision has been made and it is only a matter of time before the amendment will come into effect,” he said.

Voon, who is also PKR national vice-women chief, yesterday hit out at Lim saying it is unfair to those who had been working for 20 and 30 years.

“Why are they suddenly freezing the withdrawals of EPF at age 55?” she said.

Demanding that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak explain to the people the rationale behind the move, Voon said it was doubtful whether the decision took into consideration the “habits” of the private sector .

“Many will not work until 60 with a private company… the contribution of EPF involves the private sector too.” she added.

Facebook petition

Voon said she would galvanise the public to voice their dissatisfaction with the decision.

“We are going to set up an online petition in Facebook calling on the government to review its decision and to give the people an option to withdraw the money at 55 or 60 for those who already had an EPF account.

“We call on to the public to sign the online petition and send it to the prime minister,” she added.

Meanwhile, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How, who launched the petition campaign yesterday, said the unilateral decision by the government is another example of “high-handed” administrative action.

“Najib, please walk the talk. The people are against this. There was no consultation with them whatsoever.

“Imagine people who have worked for years and people who will be working for years to achieve a retirement goal, then suddenly when the goal is in sight the government conveniently ‘moves the goal posts’.

“This is completely unacceptable. Sign the petition today, and make your voices heard. Together we can,” said See.


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