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Voluntary contributors to i-Saraan to get 15% matching incentive up to RM500 a year, says EPF

Foto: The Edge Markets

PETALING JAYA: Workers in the informal sectors who have been voluntarily contributing to i-Saraan will receive a matching incentive of 15% of the voluntary contribution, says the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

In a statement issued by its Corporate Affairs Department, EPF said the government’s maximum matching incentive limit for the i-Saraan programme has been raised from RM300 to RM500 per year.

The initiative will benefit those under the age of 60 working in informal sectors such as those who are self-employed and gig economy workers with no fixed income.

“The government will also continue to give incentives to every i-Saraan participant who contributes, subject to a maximum lifetime incentive of RM5,000.

“This aims to encourage them to continue saving for retirement and allow more members to benefit from this government incentive.

“For the first half of 2023, government incentives amounting to RM28mil have been credited to 211,361 members under the i-Saraan programme,” EPF said on Wednesday (Jan 24).

Aside from that, the EPF also announced a 50% matching incentive by the government on every RM1 voluntary contribution by housewives under the age of 55 who contributed to the i-Suri programme.

This would also apply to housewives who are registered under the e-Kasih database, subjected to a maximum incentive limit of RM300 per year.

“The government will also continue to provide incentives to every i-Suri participant who contributes subject to a maximum lifetime incentive of RM3,000.

“For the year 2023, government incentives amounting to RM19mil have been credited to 42,532 members under the i-Suri programme.

“The EPF encourages members to leverage the increased matching incentives for i-Saraan and i-Suri programmes so they are able to further build their retirement savings, ensuring a more secure and prosperous future.”

Beginning Jan 1, the EPF said it has also separated its Simpanan Konvensional and Simpanan Shariah portfolios to allow Shariah-compliant investment.

For this initiative, the EPF said it aimed to allow each portfolio’s returns to be optimised in the long run with each portfolio having its independent strategic asset allocation.

“Since the Budget 2023 announcement, the EPF has been working towards the implementation of this strategic split, aiming to enhance alignment with the mandate and long-term strategic objectives of Simpanan Shariah.

“The move is also a proactive move to ensure that assets under both Simpanan Shariah and Simpanan Konvensional are well diversified across asset classes, markets, countries, and currencies to ensure sustainable returns,”the statement read.

As of Sept 30 last year, the EPF’s investment assets involving both portfolios amounted to RM1,092.32bil, comprising 39% Shariah assets and 61% conventional assets.

At the same time, the EPF is also enhancing its i-Invest platform to enable transactions for private mandate portfolios.

The enhancements would allow members to transact approved private mandate portfolios, in addition to approved unit trust funds on the i-Invest platform, EPF said.

The EPF said it has also included Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) based investment products in the list of approved investments to support Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) products and to mainstream EPF’s sustainability agenda.

“Prior to this, members were only able to buy, sell, or switch approved private mandate portfolios through agents.

“Private mandate portfolios are one of two investment products currently offered under the EPF Members Investment Scheme (MIS).

“In contrast to unit trust funds, private mandate portfolios are investment instruments that can be customised to align closely with a member’s specific objectives, needs, and risk tolerance, managed professionally by authorised fund management institutions (FMIs).”

Source: The Star

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