Now EPF members can easily apply for the i-Lestari withdrawals via the website ilestari.kwsp.gov.my.
Members can also check their application status using this new facility. Previously, those who wanted to apply had to go through the EPF website which caused confusion as many members have not activated their online i-Akaun and were required to email in their forms.
Registrations to withdraw EPF savings under the i-Lestari programme have begun, with the first batch of payments due to be dispensed in May.
Given that many of us may need a little extra cash to make it through the month, here’s how to go about withdrawing from your EPF account 2.
However, before we begin, note that withdrawals will only actually begin in May and not in April when registrations open. This is not an immediate solution if you’re currently struggling to pay the bills and will take time to get going.
Earlier, we had also listed out how members can apply through the EPF website as well as by post.
All you need to do here is log in to the official EPF website or use the EPF i-Akaun app. Navigate to the withdrawals page (which should be near the top right corner of the website). From there, select “new application” and then i-Lestari when asked for what type of withdrawal you want to make.
From there, you will be asked to specify how much you want to withdraw each month (to a maximum of RM500), and which bank account will receive the funds.
Take note you cannot open a new online account with the EPF if you don’t already have one during the Movement Control Order (MCO). This is because the fund has closed all it’s branch offices and customer kiosks, preventing you from applying for an online registration ID.
If you do not have an online account, it will be much easier for you to go to ilestari.kwsp.gov.my and apply directly there.
You will need access to a printer and scanner if you want to register through email. This is because you will need to download the application form to be filled in. Once you have your necessary details in the form, scan and email it to email@example.com.
You can also mail your registration form to the EPF directly through the post. Pos Malaysia services are operational during the MCO, so all you need to do is send the form to:
Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja
Karung Berkunci No 220, Jalan Sultan
46720, Petaling Jaya.
Writing ‘Attention to: i-Lestari’ on the envelope is also recommended.
Note that non-Malaysian who are still EPF members may only apply for the i-Lestari programme by post only.
How does i-Lestari work?
You do not have to submit a new application to withdraw funds each month. Instead, all registrations will automatically withdraw their desired amount every month from May 2020 until May 2021.
Registrations will also remain open until May 2021. However, those you submit their forms late will only see their withdrawals take effect in the following month.
Additionally, it will not be backdated; so if you register for i-Lestari in June 2020, you will withdraw your EPF savings from July 2020 until May 2021.
Should you withdraw?
We cannot really say whether you should or should not take advantage of this offer. We’ve already written about the pros and cons of reducing your EPF contribution for nine months, and the advice there still applies here.
If your finances are doing alright, then it’s perfectly acceptable to keep your EPF contribution at 11% and decline the i-Lestari withdrawal. However, if you’re really struggling during these difficult times, then do not feel bad for having to reduce your contribution and start withdrawing money.
After all, the important thing is to take care of yourself. Whether it’s about putting food on the table tomorrow or having a strong retirement fund.
Just remember that this is not an all or nothing thing. You do not have to withdraw the maximum RM500 from your EPF, nor do you need to both reduce your contribution and register for i-Lestari at the same time.
Take stock of your finances and figure out just how much you really need to get through these uncertain times. If you’re having trouble, don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family as well.
Because in the end we’re all in this together.