EPF Cautions Members Against Involvement In Fraudulent Withdrawals
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) today cautions its members from abetting with syndicates or agents who offer assistance to purportedly help them withdraw their EPF savings in return for a fee.
In a statement today, EPF Head of Corporate Affairs, Encik Nik Affendi Jaafar said, “The EPF views fraudulent withdrawal as a serious offence and will not hesitate to take stern actions against members withdrawing their retirement savings via fraudulent means.”
Members, particularly those who are in need of cash, are reminded to be vigilant over advertisements on several websites or agents who distribute business cards and flyers offering services to assist members to withdraw their EPF savings.
“The EPF does not appoint or endorse any third party to facilitate members’ application for withdrawals,” said Nik Affendi, adding that members who wish to make any withdrawals from their account can deal directly with the EPF which offers withdrawal services free of charge.
Fraudulent withdrawal, which involves the submission of falsified documents by members to facilitate the approval of withdrawal from their own EPF accounts, is an offence under the EPF Act 1991. Under the Act, members found guilty of fraudulent withdrawal are liable to a maximum jail sentence of three years or RM10,000 fine, or both.
From July until September 2014 (Q3 2014), eight EPF members were charged in courts under Section 59, EPF Act 1991 for making fraudulent EPF housing withdrawals and fined a total of RM15,850. The convicted members face a jail term of up to ten months if they fail to pay the fine.
The same period also saw a total of six court summons being filed against members for fraudulent withdrawals.
“The EPF has a comprehensive system in place to detect any fraudulent withdrawals or attempts to make fraudulent withdrawals even after the savings have been successfully withdrawn,” Nik Affendi added.
Once convicted, members who return the amount withdrawn within six months from the conviction date may only be allowed to apply for the same withdrawal after two years from the date the amount is returned. Those who fail to return the amount or return the amount after six months from the conviction date will lose their right to make that particular withdrawal.
The EPF reaffirms its commitment to combat fraudulent withdrawals as it will deplete members’ retirement savings and goes against the core of EPF’s objectives.
Members who encounter any instances of fraud or attempts to commit fraud relating to EPF withdrawals are urged to report it to the EPF Anti-Fraud Hotline at 03-2616 2121 during working hours from Monday to Friday.
About the Employees Provident Fund (EPF)
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is Malaysia’s premier retirement savings fund to help its members achieve adequate savings for a comfortable retirement. This is in line with EPF’s vision to help members achieve a better future and the mission to safeguard members’ savings and deliver excellent services. The EPF has evolved significantly from transaction-centric to a professional fund management organisation with a strong focus on retirement security. The EPF is guided by a robust and professional governance framework when making investment decisions. It continues to play a catalytic role in the nation’s economic growth and seeks to cultivate a savings and investment culture among its members to improve the country’s financial literacy level.