PETALING JAYA: The Employees Provident Fund advised its members' against withdrawing savings from Account 1 to address the challenges brought on by Covid-19.
Echoing Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's advice, the EPF said touching retirement savings in Account 1 could cause larger problems for contributors in the future.
"The Prime Minister’s reminder is a hard one to deliver as people are struggling to find the right balance between surviving for today and preparing for tomorrow," said EPF chief executive officer Alizakri Alias in a statement.
He added that the pandemic has impacted the lives of Malaysians, saying that some have even lost jobs and sources of income.
"We see real distressing cases where Malaysians are struggling daily to put food on the table to feed their families and to keep a roof over their heads," said Alizakri.
Alizakri said that allowing members to withdraw from Account 1 could damage their future well-being and advised members to approach EPF's Retirement Advisory Service (RAS) officers to help plan their finances as they deal with current challenges.
He said accessing funds in Account 1 should not be the only way for members to weather difficult times as the government has provided numerous means of direct financial assistance.
Alizakri said that this includes Prihatin, Prihatin SME+, Penjana and Kita Prihatin and added that this amounts to to RM55 billion for the B40 and M40 as well as other target groups and the newly vulnerable.
At the opening of the annual general meeting of Koperasi SungaiTerap/Sungai Raya Muar Bhd in Pagoh on Friday (Oct 30), Muhyiddin warned that allowing members to withdraw from their EPF saving would pose a problem for the government.
He said this following former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's proposal for the government to allow contributors to make a one-off withdrawal of up to RM10,000 from the Account 1 to help with challenges brought on by the pandemic.
Muhyiddin also assured that Budget 2021 which is due to be tabled on Nov 6 will take into account measures needed to address the people's challenges in these difficult times.