The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) today reported that seven members were convicted by the courts during the second quarter of 2014 (April - June 2014) for fraudulent housing withdrawals.
The seven were convicted under Section 59 of the EPF Act 1991 and fined a total of RM8,700 by the courts. The fines imposed on each offender ranged between RM200 and RM4,000. The members face a jail term of up to three months if they fail to pay the fines.
In a statement today, EPF Head of Corporate Affairs, Encik Nik Affendi Jaafar said, “The EPF takes fraudulent claims by members seriously and will not hesitate to take legal action against dishonest members.
“We also do not deny the involvement of third parties or syndicates who helped desperate members withdraw from their EPF savings through fraudulent means.”
The same period also saw a total of 21 court summons been filed against members for fraudulent withdrawals.
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.
Members who return the illegally withdrawn amount within six months from the conviction date will only be allowed to apply for the same withdrawal two years from the date the amount is returned.
“These members will be under our close watch. Those who fail to return the amount after six months of the conviction date will ultimately lose their right to make the particular withdrawal forever,” Nik Affendi said, adding that the EPF has a comprehensive system in place to detect and identify members who have made fraudulent withdrawals even after the savings have been successfully withdrawn.
Nik Affendi also warned members, particularly those in financial distress, to be wary of syndicates advertised on several websites that offer services to assist members withdraw their EPF savings. The EPF, he reminded, did not appoint or endorse any third party to facilitate members’ application for withdrawals.
“Members who wish to make any withdrawals from their EPF account can deal directly with the EPF and we do not charge a single sen for the service,” he stated.
Members are urged to support the EPF in its efforts to combat fraud. Members can report any instances of fraudulent withdrawal or attempts to cheat members into making fraudulent withdrawal by calling the EPF’s 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.