EPF Records Increase In Online Contribution Payments For Q1 2017
Wide array of e-services platform successfully reduced reliance on counter services
KUALA LUMPUR, 25 May 2017: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) today reported that initiatives to reduce manual transactions with employers have borne fruit with 426,675 employers recorded having submitted their Form A online through the e-Caruman facility as at 31 March 2017, involving an amount of RM5.24 billion. Out of this amount, a total of 132,708 employers have remitted their contribution payments online, amounting to RM2.14 billion.
In announcing the Q1 2017 Operations performance, EPF Chief Executive Officer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said, “The e-Caruman portal is designed to process high volume of data and it is equipped with the FPX system that also allows employers to make real-time debiting of contribution payments at zero transactional cost.
“To facilitate and enable a secure and efficient real-time transaction processing of employees’ contribution details, the EPF has ceased printing and sending out the manual Form A to employers effective 1 January 2017.”
He added that the increase in the number of newly-registered members every quarter was the basis for employers to leverage on e-Caruman for their monthly obligation. The total number of EPF members increased 1.54 per cent from 14.69 million in Q1 2016 to 14.91 million in Q1 2017, out of which 6.92 million, or 46.40 per cent, were active members. The number of newly-registered members rose 3.54 per cent to 153,844 in Q1 2017, whereas the number of newly-registered employers reduced 0.06 per cent from 16,256 employers in Q1 2016 to 16,246 in Q1 2017.
The quarter under review also saw other notable increases in EPF’s electronic platforms. The usage of i-Akaun increased 31.35 per cent from 4.70 million in Q1 2016 to 6.16 million ending 31 March 2017, while visitor traffic to the myEPF portal during the same quarter increased 4.63 per cent to 6.71 million in Q1 2017 from 6.41 million in the corresponding period last year. Usage of EPF Kiosks increased 9.19 per cent from 3.63 million in Q1 2016 to 3.96 million in Q1 2017.
The wide array of e-services now available attributed to the 20.25 per cent reduction in the number of visitors to EPF’s service counters nationwide from 1.17 million in Q1 2016 to 929,729 in Q1 2017.
“At a time when online services are on the rise, the reduction of visitors to EPF counters is testament to the success of our e-service platforms which have offered members greater convenience and ease of transaction. We will continue to actively explore new ways to enhance the online experience, as well as to invest in technologies which can help us keep operating costs low,” said Datuk Shahril.
Meanwhile, the Q1 2017 Operations results reported that a total of 36,707 members, accounting for RM2.67 billion allocation, had switched from Simpanan Konvensional to Simpanan Shariah, thus increasing the total number of members who had made the switch to 671,744 from the closing date of Simpanan Shariah 2017 on 23 December 2016. Registration for Simpanan Shariah is ongoing, and members who wish to register for Simpanan Shariah beginning 1 January 2018 may do so until 24 December 2017.
Total contributions received ending 31 March 2017 increased 2.97 per cent year-on-year to RM17.36 billion from RM16.86 billion in Q1 2016, bringing the total accumulated members’ contributions to RM708.14 billion.
The quarter under review also saw the EPF reporting for the first time, the number of applications approved for the Age 60 Withdrawal. Implemented on 1 January 2017, this withdrawal scheme saw a total of 17,929 approved applications for Age 60 Lump Sum Withdrawal amounting to RM461.07 million and 28,627 approved applications for Age 60 Flexi Withdrawal (RM873.89 million).
Datuk Shahril said the Age 60 Withdrawal scheme, also known as Akaun Emas, was introduced as a second retirement nest egg for members working beyond age 55 where all new contributions received after age 55 will be automatically parked under Akaun Emas and can only be withdrawn when members reach age 60. There is no change to the current Age 55 Withdrawal.
“Like the Age 55 Withdrawal, the Age 60 Withdrawal also allows members to make lump sum or flexi withdrawal, although we advise members to choose the latter as the balance of savings will continue to earn dividends,” he said.
Approved applications for Age 55 Flexible Withdrawal in Q1 2017, meanwhile, decreased 38.61 per cent to 55,925 from 91,099 approved applications in the corresponding quarter in 2016. The amount withdrawn under the scheme was RM2.21 billion, compared with RM3.03 billion in 2016 (Q4 2016: 98,644; RM2.96 billion). Approved applications for Age 55 Lump Sum Withdrawal in the quarter under review also reduced 18.86 per cent to 49,371 (RM3.30 billion) from 60,844 (RM3.35 billion) in the corresponding period last year (Q4 2016: 56,218; RM2.85 billion).
The rate of defaulting employers for the quarter was stable at 1.09 per cent, denoting EPF’s efficiency in recovery action as well as increasing awareness among employers towards their employees’ retirement well-being.
Members are strongly encouraged to visit the EPF’s Retirement Advisory Service counters, especially before making any form of withdrawal, to know more about their options and how they can stretch their EPF savings further for a sustainable and better retirement future. Members are also reminded not to be misled by online chatter pertaining to the EPF and to verify the information with the EPF.
For information on EPF products and services, members can refer to the EPF website new.epf.gov.my or contact the EPF Contact Management Centre at 03-8922 6000 or visit any EPF branches nationwide.
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.