EPF Scheme For Housewives Faces A Legal Hitch
The government has hit a snag with Pakatan’s manifesto promise to set up an Employees Provident Fund (EPF) scheme for homemakers.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the husbands’ EPF contribution cannot be transferred to their wives based on the current law.
“There is a problem in Section 51, you cannot touch the EPF contributed by the husband. The husband cannot take 2% out of the 11% of his EPF contribution for the wife,” Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women Affairs Minister, said.
However, she added that the Government is still looking at other ways to introduce the initiative, such as through the 1Malaysia Retirement Savings Scheme (SP1M), where the husbands can volunteer to give their wives RM250 per year.
The government has pledged to chip in RM50 per month or RM600 per year for housewives’ EPF.
“There is a way to try to top it up. We have to find a way or a scheme to do it,” she said, adding that she has already discussed the matter with Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
The SP1M was introduced by the former government for self-employed and those who do not earn a regular income to achieve a certain level of savings upon reaching retirement age.
Section 51 of the EPF Act 1991 prevents the savings of any EPF member from being assigned, attached or transferred in respect of any debt or claim.
This is part of Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto to increase social security among women who rely on their husbands for income.