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aws试用账号(www.2km.me)_Income and wealth disparity

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The EPF, in the SPI report, has also provided respectable solutions for the current problem and among them is a proper policy to address old-age poverty, which can be improved via an extension to the current retirement age.

THE Employees Provident Fund (EPF) in its annual “Social Protection Insight”, Volume 45, 2021 (SPI) published recently provided a glimpse of the state of the nation as far as income and wealth inequality is concerned.

While the detailed report provided valuable insights into statistics compiled by the EPF as far as members’ savings go, the impact from the withdrawal of RM101bil from the retirement fund is indeed telling and requires a response from the government to ensure we do not end up having a retirement crisis for Malaysians in the future.

The EPF, in the SPI report, has also provided respectable solutions for the current problem and among them is a proper policy to address old-age poverty, which can be improved via an extension to the current retirement age.

Other incentives that the government could explore are to provide incentives for employers to take in senior citizens into their payroll, raising the bar for higher contribution among the self-employed and even the idea of having a social pension.

Talking about pensions, the SPI also looked at the Malaysian civil service and it was found that many of them depend on their monthly pension for a living.

The report further added that the majority of the civil servants are support staff who earn a low income and have low levels of financial literacy, leading them to poor savings, unstable mortgage payments, poor retirement planning and other decisions.

In the SPI report, the EPF recommends that there must be efforts to encourage and raise the awareness for employees to continue contributing to the EPF or Retirement Fund Inc even when they are moved into the pension scheme, and this must be implemented immediately.

In addition, there is a need to raise financial literacy and awareness, promote the staggered withdrawal of savings in the EPF after retirement, and emphasise to them that their EPF savings are meant only to sustain their life after retirement, not for other purposes.

In line with the longer life expectancy, the EPF also recommends raising the retirement age to 62, with employees allowed to opt-in or decline.

Informal sector vulnerable

Although the informal sector makes up at least about 30% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), most of them have very little, if any, in terms of social protection.

In the SPI report, the EPF commented that only 2.3% of respondents surveyed were EPF contributors.

Further, just between 13.8% and 14.6% of them have life and health insurance, respectively.

They are also relatively vulnerable to economic disruption, as only 12.3% of the respondents have funds that would last up to six months.

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