By Ida Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — The Human Resource Ministry is in talks with the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) on whether contributors will still be allowed to withdraw all their savings at age 55, following the government’s plan to raise the private sector’s retirement age to 60.
The Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam had tabled the Minimum Retirement Age Bill in Parliament last Wednesday, which proposes to set the earliest retirement age at 60 years for private sector workers.
The MCA yesterday said that employees should be allowed to withdraw their EPF at 55 if the Bill is passed, instead of having to wait until they reach the age of 60.
“Sedang bincang (Still under discussion)” was Subramaniam’s answer today when asked if the age requirement for full withdrawal of the EPF savings will be changed.
EPF members are currently allowed to take out all their savings at the age of 55, either in a lump sum or partially; they can also partially withdraw their savings under Account II by the age of 50.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim was recently reported to have hinted that EPF could be weighing the idea of allowing members to withdraw at the age of 55.
Subramaniam was also asked to comment on the life-long pension and unemployment insurance schemes, which the MCA had yesterday said should not be introduced until the impact of the minimum wage policy and minimum retirement age is studied.
“Most of them are still in the discussion stage,” he said in a press conference today.
He stressed that he has “repeated many times before this.”
On Monday, he had said that his ministry will discuss with EPF on converting the pension fund into a monthly pension scheme.
Last week, Subramaniam said that the proposed unemployment insurance scheme is still being studied, after denying that it had been postponed.
He said the ministry has also appointed several experts from the International Labour Organisation since February to assist in the study, which was expected to be completed by end of this year.