Jun 6, 2018

EPF for housewives to start this year


PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Finance fully supports the introduction of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) scheme for housewives, as proposed by the Ministry of Women and Family Development.

The policy, led by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, is in line with Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto to initiate social security for women who depend on their husbands for income.

“The scheme is expected to start this year on a voluntary basis. It would transfer two percentage points of the husband’s existing 11 per cent EPF contribution to the wife’s EPF account,” Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said in a statement today.

“I believe this is not burdensome for the husband as it does not reduce the take-home pay. This contribution would be topped up with a RM50 contribution from the government,” he added.

The scheme will also create a more equitable family relations between spouses while providing a wider safety net for the family institution.

Currently, Lim said, the EPF runs an additional voluntary retirement savings programme for the self-employed and for those without any regular income.

Participants receive a government contribution of 15 per cent on the amount put in by savers, subject to a RM250 yearly limit.

According to the EPF, Lim said among the 90,599 participants were housewives and they contributed RM525 million in 2017.

“I understand that the Ministry of Women and Family Development together with the EPF will prepare a cabinet memorandum soon. The document will detail out the new scheme, its estimated cost and outline the interaction between the two programmes,” Lim added.

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