(Updated)

EPF says approved RM19.1b worth of applications under i-Citra as of Aug 4

The i-Citra withdrawal facility allows EPF members to withdraw from their respective Account 2 and Account 1, subject to their eligibility, to withdraw up to RM5,000 spread over five months. (Photo by Mohd Izwan Mohd Nazam/The Edge)

The i-Citra withdrawal facility allows EPF members to withdraw from their respective Account 2 and Account 1, subject to their eligibility, to withdraw up to RM5,000 spread over five months. (Photo by Mohd Izwan Mohd Nazam/The Edge)

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 6): The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has approved a total of 4.57 million applications for the i-Citra facility, amounting to RM19.1 billion in withdrawals as of Wednesday (Aug 4, 2021).

During a briefing with the media, EPF chief strategy officer Nurhisham Hussein said the retirement fund had received a total of 4.62 million applications for the facility, with 4.57 million applications approved, marking a 99% approval rate.

About 50,000 applications were still pending, while 551 applications were rejected due to factors such as having insufficient savings and being above the age limit of 55 years old. The rejection figure also included 82 cancelled applications.

In terms of ringgit, the total number of applications amounted to RM19.3 billion, of which RM19.1 billion worth was approved, while RM2.3 billion had been disbursed as of Aug 4.

The majority of applicants sought to withdraw between RM4,001 and RM5,000 via i-Citra, accounting for about 79% of the total number of applicants, followed by those that wanted to withdraw up to RM1,000 (8.5%), between RM1,001 and RM2,000 (5%), between RM2,001 and RM3,000 (4.2%), and between RM3,001 and RM4,000 (3.2%).

Some of the reasons cited by the applicants included a reduction in income/wage (27%), to assist affected the spouse/family members (19%), and being unemployed for a long period (16%).

Meawhile, 62% of applicants said they were to use their i-Citra funds to finance daily or monthly essential expenditure, while 16% said they needed funds to settle outstanding debts.

The i-Citra withdrawal facility allows EPF members to withdraw from their respective Account 2 and Account 1, subject to their eligibility, to withdraw up to RM5,000 spread over five months.

In total, the total outflow due to Covid-19-related assistance offered by the EPF had resulted in an outflow of RM86.2 billion as at Aug 4.

These programmes included employees’ contribution rate reduction between April 2020 and December 2021 (RM6.2 billion), i-Lestari (RM20.8 billion), e-CAP deferment of employers’ contributions (RM200 million), i-Sinar (RM56.7 billion) and i-Citra (RM2.3 billion).

The EPF expects the total estimated outflow following these programmes to amount to RM117 billion.

“We are managing the impact on [our] cash flow and investment. We have sufficient cash for these programmes and it is not heavily impacting investment at the moment. We do have a plan in terms of managing the liquidity as well as cash flow of the EPF,” said Nurhisham.

Asked if the withdrawals through the facilities would affect returns to members, he said it is unlikely.

“The withdrawals affect both sides — the amount we need to generate in return is also reduced, so it balances out quite well. The only thing is that we need to carry a little bit more cash, but that’s marginal when compared to the entire returns of the portfolio,” he said.

Lam Jian Wyn