EPF Records Increased Usage Across Customer Service Platforms
Online transactions remain preferred choice among members in Q3 2016
KUALA LUMPUR, 8 December 2016: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) today reported notable increase in the usage of its physical and digital customer service platforms, comprising i-Akaun, EPF Kiosks and myEPF, which again emerged as the preferred mode of transaction with the EPF in the third quarter ending 30 September 2016 (Q3 2016).
During the quarter under review, the usage of i-Akaun increased 46.77 per cent from 3.09 million in Q3 2015 to 4.54 million ending September 2016, while visitor traffic to the myEPF portal during the same quarter increased 38.88 per cent from 4.03 million in Q3 2015 to 5.60 million in Q3 2016. Meanwhile, usage of EPF Kiosks increased 31.09 per cent from 2.51 million in Q3 2015 to 3.29 million in Q3 2016.
In announcing the Q3 2016 Operations performance, EPF Chief Executive Officer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said, “We have made exceptional customer experience one of the core component of our flagship initiatives, and the Q3 2016 operations results clearly showed that members’ expectations about every aspect of our service, including speed and convenience, have increased.
“As a fund with an increasing member and registered employer base, it has become imperative for us to enhance our services by providing seamless experience in transacting via digital platforms, easing operations and further shortening transaction time. One of our key outcomes by 2020 is to ensure 80 per cent of our interactions with members are carried out electronically and 60 per cent with employers.”
Aside from digital platforms, visitors to EPF’s service counters nationwide have also increased 11.91 per cent from 1.13 million in Q3 2015 to 1.26 million in Q3 2016. This is attributed to the surge in over-the-counter visitors who wish to opt for Simpanan Shariah, which has received good response from the public since registration commenced beginning 8 August 2016.
Telephone calls received by EPF’s Contact Management Centre (CMC) have also increased 26.53 per cent from 231,913 calls in Q3 2015 to 293,444 calls in Q3 2016. The centre, first introduced in September 2003, provides multi-lingual consultation service to address members’ queries relating to EPF matters.
Datuk Shahril said the service continues to remain relevant today as it saves members and employers the time and trip needed to visit EPF branches to have their queries addressed. He added that the most commonly-asked questions were related to the withdrawal of EPF savings, dividends and the steps to submit employers’ contribution or members’ withdrawal application electronically.
Approved applications for Age 55 Flexible Withdrawal in Q3 2016 increased 7.27 per cent to 86,684 from 80,812 approved applications in the corresponding quarter in 2015. The amount withdrawn under the scheme was RM2.53 billion, compared with RM 3.28 billion in 2015 (Q2 2016: 91,111, RM2.70 billion).
This was in contrast with the number of approved applications for Age 55 Full Withdrawal in Q3 2016, which was down 6.83 per cent from 50,444 approved applications in Q3 2015 involving RM2.70 billion to 46,999 involving an amount of RM2.29 billion in Q3 2016.
Datuk Shahril attributed the decrease in the number of applicants opting for lump-sum withdrawal to improved awareness among members who recognised the benefits of stretching their retirement savings further while capitalising on yearly dividends.
The overall total approved applications for Education Withdrawals in Q3 2016 recorded an increase of 117.16 per cent to 60,318 involving RM359.70 million from 27,776 approved applications (RM155.95 million) in Q3 2015 (Q2 2016: 60,931, RM370.39 million), with the majority being to settle the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) education loans. The inclusion of Education Withdrawal under the e-Pengeluaran facility has also made it easier for members to submit their application online. Total applications approved for Q3 2016 was 23,884, up 27.7 per cent from 18,707 in Q2 2016 approved applications for Education Withdrawal.
The number of approved applications for investment withdrawal via the Members Investment Scheme (MIS), meanwhile, increased 15.40 per cent to 179,351 involving an amount of RM1.57 billion in Q3 2016 from 155,417 in Q3 2015 involving an amount of RM1.51 billion.
The total number of EPF members in Q3 2016 rose 1.86 per cent from 14.45 million in Q3 2015 to 14.72 million in Q3 2016, out of which 6,833,292 or 46.42 per cent were active members. The number of newly-registered employers in Q3 2016 recorded a 4.18 per cent decrease from 14,748 employers in Q3 2015 to 14,131 in Q3 2016.
As at end September 2016, the rate of defaulting employers was 1.10 per cent, which was stable according to Datuk Shahril as it denoted EPF’s efficiency in recovery action as well as increased awareness among employers towards their employees’ retirement well-being.
Datuk Shahril reminded employers that the pre-printed Form A would no longer be sent to employers starting January 2017 as all submissions of employees’ details and contribution payments will be done online via internet banking and e-Caruman facility.
Members are advised to contact the EPF Contact Management Centre at 03-8922 6000 or refer to EPF website at new.epf.gov.my, or visit any EPF counters nationwide for any information on EPF products and services as well as on the recent introduction of Age 60 Withdrawal, or Akaun Emas. Members are also reminded not to be misled by online chatter pertaining to the EPF and to verify the information with the 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.