New EPF scheme for house buyers
KUALA LUMPUR: EPF contributors planning to buy houses may want to wait until a new scheme, enabling them to obtain higher housing loan based on their EPF Account II savings, is implemented.
EPF chief executive officer Tan Sri Azlan Zainol said EPF was keen to launch the scheme as soon as possible but it would depend on when the banks were ready to implement it.
He said several banks had expressed interest in the scheme to help contributors to be eligible for higher financing. “The banks are studying it. In principle, they are agreeable to it,” he told reporters after the opening of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) technical seminar here Monday.
On when the scheme would be launched, he said: “It depends on the bank; they are receptive to it. It will be soon. By this year.”
During the Budget tabling last October, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had announced that the government would launch the scheme to enable EPF contributors to utilise current and future savings in Account II in January this year.
Najib had said the scheme would enable contributors to be eligible to higher financing to purchase higher value houses. It was limited to a purchase of one house at any one time and subject to conditions stipulated by EPF, he said.
The Prime Minister had announced the establishment of the 1Malaysia retirement savings scheme during the Budget tabling. As an incentive, the Government will contribute 5% subject to a maximum of RM60 per annum for every RM100 contribution in addition to the existing dividend paid by EPF.
He said the scheme was for self-employed and those without fixed income such as taxi drivers, hawkers, farmers and fishermen, who retire without pensions or EPF savings.
Azlan said the 1Malaysia retirement scheme received encouraging response recording RM3.4mil in total savings from 8,000 contributors registering RM3.4mil since its establishment on Jan 2. Of the total contributors, 3,000 are self-employed traders. The contributors could contribute a minimum of RM50 or a maximum of RM5,000 to the scheme monthly.
The Government’s contribution was only for five years and contributors might withdraw their savings upon attaining the age of 55.
Themed “High Performance in Social Security by Innovation, Change Management and Risk Management,” the three-day seminar was opened by Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin. Also present was EPF chairman Tan Sri Samsudin Osman.
Awang Adek said EPF, with its 12.4 million contributors and total savings of RM370bil, was responsible not only to preserve but grow the savings.
He commended EPF for being able to yield relatively good returns of 5.65% or five to six times to fixed deposit interest rate in a relatively difficult market.