Finance Ministry endorses EPF scheme for housewives
Lim says the policy is in line with Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto to raise the level of social security among housewives who rely fully on their husbands (Pic: Bernama)

2% from the husband’s 11% EPF contribution will be credited to the housewife’s EPF account and govt to top up RM50 monthly

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By BERNAMA

The Finance Ministry has endorsed the proposal to create a scheme for housewives under the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), including a monthly allowance payment by the government.

Under the proposed scheme, which is expected to start later this year, 2% from the husband’s existing 11% EPF contribution will be credited to the housewife’s EPF account.

The government will top up the amount with an additional RM50 monthly.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the policy is in line with Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto to raise the level of social security among housewives who rely fully on their husbands.

“I believe this scheme will not burden any parties because the husband will not see any reduction in the net wages brought home.

“Furthermore, this scheme will create a more equitable economic relationship between husbands and unemployed wives, while reinforcing the family institution by providing a new social safety net,” Lim said in a statement yesterday.

He said the Women and Family Development Ministry, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, and the EPF will issue a memorandum by the Cabinet soon.

The document will further detail the structure of the scheme. The government is looking into existing regulations to expedite the implementation of the 2% EPF contribution for housewives.

It is not known how much the voluntary scheme will cost the government.

Dr Wan Azizah had held discussions with the EPF and the Social Safety Organisation (Socso) to iron out details of the scheme. She said there are clauses in the existing regulations which prohibit the process.

The EPF already has a voluntary retirement savings scheme for those who are self-employed and who have no fixed income. The government adds another 15% to all contributions under the scheme subject to a limit of RM250 annually.

Lim said some RM525 million were contributed by 90,599 contributors to the scheme in 2017, including housewives.

Other women support groups had endorsed the new scheme for housewives. Some organisations want more to be done for single mothers and their children.

The EPF contribution for housewives is one of the promises made by Pakatan Harapan before the 14th General Election.