EPF sees higher number of flexible withdrawals in 2Q18

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 4): The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has reported a marked increase in the number of applications for flexible withdrawal compared with full withdrawal.

In a statement today, the EPF said that in its operations results for the second quarter of 2018 (2Q18), there was a 48.65% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase in the approved applications for Age 55 Flexible Withdrawal to 67,969 from 45,723.

It explained that the total amount withdrawn under Age 55 Flexible Withdrawal was RM2.92 billion in 2Q18, compared with RM1.78 billion in 2Q17.

Meanwhile, approved applications for Age 60 Flexible Withdrawal recorded a 43.16% increase to 40,276 (RM861.3 million) in 2Q18 from 28,133 (RM637.61 million) in 2Q17.

EPF deputy chief executive officer (operations) Datuk Mohd Naim Daruwish said the figures revealed members' growing preference to retain part of their savings with the EPF, in order to continue receiving dividends on the balance in their account.

"There are several options under the Flexible Withdrawal and we strongly encourage members who have reached age 55 or 60 to seek free advice from our Retirement Advisory Service (RAS) to understand the options that suit their financial position and needs before deciding on which type of withdrawal to make," he said.

He added that the EPF had recorded a significant increase in the number of visitors, including repeat visitors, to its 28 RAS counters across the country.

Mohd Naim said for 2Q18, the number of visitors to the RAS counters grew 27.42% y-o-y to 16,696 from 13,103.

He said during the quarter under review, the total number of approved applications for all withdrawals increased 4.87% to 598,919 from 571,130 in 2Q17.

"This involved the total amount being withdrawn in 2Q18 to RM12.65 billion, compared with RM12.48 billion in the corresponding period in 2017," he said.

Mohd Naim said the total number of approved applications for Age 55 Full Withdrawal in 2Q18 dropped 50.45% y-o-y to 20,769 (RM1.3 billion) from 41,914 (RM2.51 billion).

He said approved applications for Age 60 Full Withdrawal recorded a slight increase of 8.97% to 15,554 (RM291.32 million) in 2Q18 from 14,273 (RM366.2 million) in 2Q17.

Mohd Naim said that as at end June 2018, the number of EPF members totalled 13.99 million, of whom 7.21 million were active contributors, with 115,125 newly registered members.

He said the quarter under review also saw a slight drop of 2.57% in the number of newly registered employers to 14,568 from 14,952 in 2Q17, bringing the total number of registered employers as at end June 2018 to 499,321.

"In tandem with the increase in membership, the EPF recorded a 9.99% increase in contributions received in the second quarter to RM18.17 billion from RM16.52 billion recorded in the same quarter last year, bringing the total accumulated members' contributions to RM780.07 billion, a rise of 9.55% from RM712.04 billion in 2Q17," he said.