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KUCHING, Nov 22: The National Union of Bank Employees (Nube) urges the federal government to find a mechanism to replenish the money withdrawn by B40 and M40 workers from their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) accounts to supplement their savings for retirement.
Nube’s general secretary J Solomon in a press statement today said the government’s move to extend the period for the reduction in the EPF contribution rate from 11 per cent to 9 per cent in Budget 2022 will further heighten the low retirement savings problem faced by workers.
Hence, he called on the government to find ways to replenish the money withdrawn by B40 and M40 groups to protect their savings for their retirement.
“Under the government’s stimulus package, instead of providing rebates and incentives during the pandemic to workers, the government made the workers withdraw from their savings to boost the economy.
“This is done through the introduction of i-Lestari, i-Sinar and i-Citra and members of the EPF had withdrawn RM101 billion from their savings.
“The government prided that its stimulus package included RM101 billion when it is not from the government’s coffer but from the workers’ retirement savings.
“However, the majority of 7.4 million who withdrew are B40 and M40 members of the EPF.
“While these withdrawals are ploughed back to the economy and the business community benefitted in the short-term, the poor members’ retirement savings have depleted,” he said.
Solomon added some 6.1 million EPF contributors are now left with savings of less than RM10,000.
Of this figure, some 3.6 million members have less than RM1,000 in their savings, leaving them vulnerable and unprotected for their retirement.
Based on the minimum target of RM240,000 savings that EPF members should have upon reaching the age of 55, Solomon noted only three per cent can afford retirement and sustain their retirement with their savings.
He added the EPF Board’s primary goal should be to protect employees’ retirement savings and not to please the government for their political mileage and irresponsible employers. — DayakDaily