Six EPF Members Convicted By Courts For Fraudulent Withdrawals
The Employees Provident Fund(EPF) today announced that six EPF members have been found guilty by the courts between April and June 2011 (Q2 2011) for making or attempts at making fraudulent withdrawals.
The six members were convicted and fined a total of RM12,300 by the courts under Section 59, EPF Act 1991 involving EPF housing withdrawals. Out of the six members, one was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment while three others may face possible jail time of up to two months should they fail to pay the fines.
In a statement issued today, EPF General Manager for Public Relations, Encik Nik Affendi Jaafar said, “The conviction of these members demonstrates EPF’s zero-tolerance stance on anything fraudulent. In our effort at safeguarding members’ retirement savings, we will not hesitate to take legal action against dishonest members.”
Fraudulent withdrawal, which involves the submission of false documents by a member to facilitate the approval of withdrawal from his or her own account, is a serious offence under the EPF Act 1991.
Under the Act, members who have been 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. Once convicted, members who return the amount withdrawn within six months from the conviction date may only be allowed to apply for the same withdrawal after two years from the date the amount is returned.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 forever lose their right to make that particular withdrawal.
During the same period, a total of 31 court summons have also been filed under the same offense.
Nik Affendi further alerted members, especially those who are financially in need, to be wary of syndicates that might approach them with tempting offers of helping them withdraw their EPF savings even if they claim it is via a supposedly legal channel.
“Members need not be reminded that it is a serious offence to make fraudulent withdrawals, be it with or without the help of third parties. Furthermore, EPF processes are carefully designed to enable it to detect members who have made fraudulent withdrawals even after the savings have been successfully withdrawn. In time, those involved in fraud will have to face the legal consequences,” he warned.
Members who encounter any instances of fraud or attempts at fraud are urged to call the EPF Anti-Fraud Hotline at 03-2616 2121 during working hours from Monday to Friday.
“The purpose of saving with the EPF is to ensure that they have sufficient funds for their retirement. While the EPF will do its best to safeguard their savings, members must also be cognisant of their responsibility towards their own retirement wellbeing,” Nik Affendi said.
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.