I received this yesterday from a concerned reader Ms Lee. She writes about the EPF
withdrawal age being raised to 60 years from 55 years.
"Please pass this message to the PM
I heard on the radio this morning that the Ministry of Finance has proposed that in line with the extended retirement age of 60, the current EPF full withdrawal at 55 years will be amended to half withdrawal and the final half upon reaching 60.
Please convey this message to the PM that it will be a very grave decision indeed and that it is going to cause his BN government a huge chunk of votes in the coming election!
Thanks & Regards,
Here is a report from The Star today about the same subject :
- Full EPF withdrawal at 60
- The age for full withdrawal from the (EPF) raised to 60 years and partial withdrawal to 55.
- retirement age for private sector employees from 55 to 60.
- ".Once we raise the minimum retirement age, we have to raise the age of EPF withdrawal as well,”
- Currently, contributors can make partial EPF withdrawal at 50 and full withdrawal of their savings upon retirement at 55.
- ..looking at providing a transition period for contributors who have already planned to withdraw their contributions within the next few years.
- “not finalised the transition period, between three and five years,”
- EPF contributors had expressed concern about whether the age for full EPF withdrawal would be raised.
- Many wanted the option of withdrawing their savings at 55 even if the retirement age was raised to 60, saying that they required their savings for pressing needs such as their children's education and elderly parents' medication while some felt that they deserved the flexibility of choosing when they could withdraw their savings.
- MTUC said they were in the dark about the planned amendment. “We have not been involved in any discussion regarding raising the age of EPF withdrawal or any other amendment to the Act,”
Well if the retirement age has been raised to 60, then it follows that the EPF withdrawals will match or should match the retirement age (60 years).
However I hope the EPF will take into consideration the biology of the human species. Raising the retirement age has come about because human beings now live longer and healthier. They can work up to age 60. But it does not change the biological cycle of the human being.
Normally, for most people, by the time a man or woman hit 50 years of age, their kids are past the school going age. Their kids are either in university / college or working. And they will also be expecting their grandkids to arrive about this time because their kids will be getting married. This means parents in this age gap will be planning for weddings, especially if they have daughters. You can raise the retirement age to 60 or 65 or 70 years but this is the biology of the human race which you must bear in mind.
Here is my suggestion. Despite the retirement age being increased to 60, we should allow full EPF withdrawal at 55 years. Why? Because of the biology. 55 years or 60 years is just a stroke of the pen. (What if tomorrow the retirement age is raised again to 65 years? Takkan kita nak enjoy our EPF savings at age 65 years, bila dekat nak mati dah?) Please pay attention to the biology.
And please give these post 55 year olds the option if they still want to make EPF contributions after age 55 (Employers cannot be exempted). My reason is because by the time you reach 55, most of your affairs are already sorted out. The kids have grown up, you already have a house or home. You are pretty much ok.
We also know that with all the safeguards, the EPF has problems finding places to invest all the billions of Ringgit the EPF collects every month. That is also why the EPF dividend rate is low. So why collect even more billions from people at the peak of their earning power? Where will the EPF invest all those extra billions?
Lastly a huge bulk of EPF contributors are Chinese people too. Most will be voters. As Ms Lim has written in her e mail, these voters may get angry if they have to wait another five years before they can get their EPF savings.