(Updated)

PM announces automatic blanket loan repayment moratorium for individuals, i-Citra EPF withdrawal initiative

Photo by Sam Fong/The Edge

Photo by Sam Fong/The Edge

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 28): The government has introduced the i-Citra initiative which will allow members of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to withdraw up to RM5,000 of their savings, as well as a blanket automatic moratorium on loan repayments for individual borrowers.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said 12.6 million EPF members will be able to withdraw up to RM5,000 at a fixed rate of RM1,000 per month for five months, subject to the amount of savings in their respective accounts. Applications for i-Citra can be made via the EPF's i-Citra online portal at icitra.kwsp.gov.my starting from July 15, 2021, with the first payment expected to be released in August 2021.

"This was a difficult decision to make because the government is aware that these are the people's retirement savings, and the i-Citra initiative takes the middle ground between covering the urgent needs of today, and reasonable returns for EPF members who do not require withdrawals," he said during his national address.

Muhyiddin also announced the blanket moratorium for all individual borrowers across all income brackets, with the support of the banking industry.

"There will no longer be requirements such as [proof of] income reduction, checks on whether you have really lost your job and no documentation will be required for application. You just need to apply and approval will be given automatically. This convenience is also open for SME (small and medium enterprise) operators that have been affected, subject to banks' approval," he said.

The premier also announced several other targeted initiatives to assist those who have borrowed for education purposes, as well as insurance and takaful holders.

For those with education loans, the government will give a three-month moratorium for PTPTN borrowers, and a six-month postponement for Federal Education Loan repayments under the Public Service Department and compensation claim payments for recipients of federal scholarships.

Repayments of MARA Education Loans can also either be postponed for three months or rescheduled with monthly instalments of as low as RM100 over 12 months. The government will also grant a three-month postponement on repayments for loans under the Skills Development Fund Corp (PTPK).

Meanwhile, affected insurance policy and takaful holders may opt in for a moratorium on insurance premium payments and takaful contributions up to Dec 31, 2021.

This initiative includes policy and certificate holders of life insurance and family takaful.

Read also:
EPF: Applications for i-Citra withdrawals can be sent in starting July 15 
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Tan Choe Choe