IN the past few months, we have been reading about concerns that the Employees Provident Fund may modify its full withdrawal scheme at the age of 55 to be in line with the proposed 60-year retirement age for the private sector, which may be gazetted by the government next month.
Their concerns seem valid as not all EPF members wish to work beyond 55. Furthermore, those in their 50s could have by now made up their mind to retire upon reaching 55 and withdraw the whole amount that they have in EPF.
These are members who started work more than three decades ago and have made up their minds about retiring and doing something else, and the funds that they have accumulated will come in handy.
To deprive them of making a full withdrawal will be a setback and heartbreak for them. The lives of some may even go haywire
EPF can set a rule allowing a certain category of members to make full withdrawals.
For example, those who reached the age of 50 on Jan 1 last year or this year should be allowed to make full withdrawals when they reach 55.
I think this is similar to EPF rules on housing withdrawals, where some point of time is decided as criteria for withdrawal eligibility.
I believe EPF and the government can come up with a policy to benefit members in this age group.
EPF won't have to worry about the outflow of funds following withdrawals as there are other schemes to discourage full withdrawal, such as the annual dividend withdrawal.
A. Harith, Sungai Petani, Kedah