04/06/2024 12:22 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 (Bernama) -- It is time for Malaysia to embrace serious reforms in its pension and retirement framework to ensure financial security and equity for all Malaysians, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar said a recent survey found that 26.1 per cent of respondents aged above 60 will continue to work until their health fails as they face challenges in achieving income security to finance their retirement needs.

He said the old-age population is more susceptible to poverty compared to the average Malaysian population, as only 29 per cent of Malaysians have pension or pension-like income during retirement.

“EPF (Employee Provident Fund) data shows that one in four members actually exhausted their savings within five years after reaching withdrawal age.

The lump-sum nature of the EPF benefit will result in many Malaysians not being able to maintain a reasonable standard of living during retirement or to manage longevity risks,” he said when officiating the International Social Wellbeing Conference 2024 (ISWC 2024) here today.

Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan and EPF chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir. 

Anwar who is also the Finance Minister said there is a need  to actively seek reform in the Malaysian pension framework in order to ensure that every generation in this nation will be able to look forward to growing old with dignity. 

“New solutions are needed to make sure no one is left behind and that every layer of society benefits from social protection…Expanding EPF coverage in phases so that more of the working-age population will become part of the EPF ecosystem will ensure that more Malaysians can accumulate adequate retirement savings for their old age”, said Anwar.

Prime Minister added it is projected to only take 23 years for Malaysia to make the shift from Ageing Nation to Aged Nation, with 14 per cent of the population above the age of 65.

He said align with that, the Unity Government is absolutely committed to bettering the lives of older Malaysians and building a more inclusive and just society for all, in line with the concept of MADANI.

“In this regard, the government plans to strengthen two pillars of social protection…for social assistance, the government will further strengthen social assistance programmes to provide support and a safety net for Malaysians who are facing financial hardship.

“To spur the Labour Market, the government will continue to strengthen training initiatives, unemployment assistance and other programmes to get Malaysians into jobs that will raise their standard of living,” he said.




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