More Malaysians Living Abroad Are Withdrawing Their EPF Funds
An increasing number of Malaysians abroad are opting to cash out on their savings with the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).
In 2014, a total of 3,098 Malaysians renounced their citizenship and left the country, withdrawing RM303 million from the pension fund.
This figure is a startling 63% spike from 2010, during which only RM185 million was withdrawn by those leaving the country, according to statistics obtained from the EPF website.
Opposition lawmaker Ong Kian Ming told The Malaysian Insider that growing fears of economic and political uncertainty, as well as the Ringgit’s continuous decline could be some of the reasons behind the phenomenon.
Ong noted that in the past, many would leave their money in EPF despite living or working abroad, because the pension fund has been offering decent returns. However, fears regarding the currency depreciation could have motivated many to make this early withdrawal.
The EPF currently has total investment assets of about RM685 billion.
In February, it announced that it was looking to allocate an estimated RM100 billion to RM120 billion from its investment funds to offer its members a chance to participate in Shariah-compliant stocks.
Deputy CEO (Investment) Datuk Mohamad Nasir Ab Latif was also quoted saying that the amount of dividends that will be paid out to members for the year 2015 (due to be announced soon) will be “respectable”, despite the challenging economic climate.
Last year, the pension fund announced a 6.75% dividend payout for 2014, higher than the 6.35% payout it had declared for 2013.