EPF: 62% of self-employed Malaysians without social protection

KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) today revealed that 62% of some 22 million working-age Malaysians are self-employed and not covered by any formal social protection.

“It is a sad fact that many Malaysians do not have enough savings for retirement. As a social protection agency, this is of great concern to us,” said EPF chairman Samsudin Osman.

He urged all housewives and their husbands, and those working in the informal sector to become contributors.

“Furthermore, recent statistics indicate that more than 70% of Malaysians do not have a rainy day fund for emergency expenses,” he said in his speech at the International Social Security Conference 2018: A Better Tomorrow.

Samsudin said the current economic climate indicated that people are facing steep increases in their daily cost of living, causing additional pressure on many, particularly those with low income.

“This directly affects their ability to save, let alone have an adequate income to last through their retirement years.

“We need to explore ways to respond effectively to ensure that the social protection ecosystem stays relevant and in line with the latest developments in the marketplace for the well-being (of the people).”

Samsudin said Malaysia’s low financial literacy rate at 36% put the country behind Singapore and Taiwan, leading to poor spending decisions which resulted in high debts.

“To enhance the level of financial literacy, the EPF is involved in the Financial Education Network initiative led by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission Malaysia.

“The plan is to start financial education from young up to retirement, to inculcate and teach good spending behaviour,” he added.