Six EPF Members Convicted By Courts For Fraudulent Withdrawals
Six members of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) were convicted by the courts between October and December 2011 (Q4 2011) under Section 59, EPF Act 1991 for their involvement in fraudulent withdrawals.
The offenders were convicted and fined a total of RM5,900 by the courts for the said offence involving EPF’s housing and incapacitation withdrawals, with five of them facing possible jail time of up to one month each in the event that they fail to pay the fines.
In a statement issued today, EPF General Manager for Public Relations Nik Affendi Jaafar said, “We would like to remind our members that the purpose of saving with the EPF is to ensure that their basic financial need during retirement can be met. Any attempt to deceitfully withdraw their savings therefore goes against the core reason of saving with the EPF; they will only be at the losing end.”
From January to December 2011, a total of 52 court summons were filed against the members who involved in fraudulent withdrawals. In 2011, a total of 47 members were found guilty by the courts on fraudulent withdrawals for housing, incapacitation and health under the same section while 13 cases are currently still pending court action.
“As custodian of members’ savings, it is our duty to ensure that our members’ retirement savings remain protected. As such, we will not think twice about taking action against those who have been caught flouting the law,” he stressed.
Under the Act, those found guilty of fraudulent withdrawal, or attempted fraudulent withdrawal, are liable to a maximum jail sentence of three years or a RM10,000 fine, or both. Those convicted members who return the amount of money withdrawn within six months from the conviction date may only be allowed to apply for the same withdrawal after two years from the date the amount is returned.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 do so will forever lose their right to make that particular withdrawal.
Nik Affendi explained that fraudulent withdrawals involve the submission of falsified documents by members to facilitate the approval of withdrawal from their own EPF account.
“Members are reminded that the EPF has strict processes and systems in place which are able to expose any fraudulent withdrawals or attempts at fraudulent withdrawals even after the savings have been successfully withdrawn,” he said.
Members who are eligible and wish to make an EPF withdrawal are advised to visit the nearest EPF branch, without going through a third party or syndicate who will take advantage of members by offering supposed assistance to help them withdraw their EPF savings in return for a fee.
“These syndicates are only out to dupe members into parting with their EPF savings dishonestly. In this respect, we call upon anyone who wishes to report any instances of fraud to do so by calling EPF Anti-Fraud Hotline at 03-2616 2121 during working hours from Monday to Friday,” he stated.
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.