EPF to announce Account 1 facility on Wednesday

by AZREEN HANI / pic by TMR FILE

THE Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is finalising the details of the access to Account 1 facility, to be called i-Sinar and the announcement will be made on Wednesday.

EPF said in a statement on the weekend that i-Sinar was developed after exhaustive and detailed consultation with key stakeholders in order to address the present challenges faced by affected members while ensuring some future retirement savings for them.

“The EPF believes that the total amounts available under i-Sinar, together with the maximum withdrawal of RM500 a month from Account 2 under the i-Lestari facility (launched in April 2020), will allow affected members to sustain themselves in the short term,” the fund said.

“i-Sinar further expands on the estimated total withdrawal amount of RM30 billion under i-Lestari, which will be ending March 2021.”

Applications for i-Sinar will begin from December 2020 and amounts will be credited into members’ bank accounts starting January 2021 onwards.

The Malaysian Reserve had previously reported that EPF was having reservations on the withdrawal from Account 1 as it was not a viable solution to help cash-strapped individuals manage their economic hardship.

Last Tuesday, the EPF said it was refining and improving the targeted Account 1 withdrawal facility as announced in Budget 2021.

“All views and feedback from various stakeholders are being carefully considered,” the retirement fund had said in a statement.

The EPF said the targeted withdrawal facility should be made based on a detailed study to balance the needs of fund members to address current challenges, while ensuring their retirement savings for future wellbeing.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the government is prepared to increase the number of contributors eligible to withdraw their savings from Account 1.

However, he said the matter is still under discussion with the parties involved, especially the EPF.

He said the proposal was made taking into account the concerns of the people who are affected by the impact of Covid-19 transmission.