KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 — Voluntary contributors under the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) i-Saraan programme have jumped by 77 per cent to 599,000 people in the first quarter of 2022, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

“I understand that the EPF will also continue to target the informal and self-employed sectors to ensure that all Malaysians will benefit from retirement savings,” he said at the i-Lindung Insurance and Takaful Facility launch ceremony here today.

Tengku Zafrul said the government was also actively studying policies that could speed up the process of increasing social protection coverage, which would be announced later.

“Besides that, the government has announced a minimum wage of RM1,500 on May 1, 2022 which will also contribute to improving the quality of life of the rakyat,” he said.

He said improving social security was an important aspect in reducing the wealth gap as well as increasing living wages.

“If this structural issue is not addressed immediately, it will be a risk to the country’s socio-economic stability in the future,” he said.

According to Tengku Zafrul, although the government and the EPF are studying policies that can strengthen social security for Malaysians in the long run, short-term efforts also need to be continued for now.

“This is because of the fact that many people still do not know about the need and importance of insurance or takaful, or even if they are aware of the importance of providing umbrellas before the rain, they may be unable to,” he said.

This, he said, caused many Malaysians to still not have any form of insurance or takaful coverage.

“A study by the National Health and Morbidity Survey shows that almost half of Malaysians do not have additional savings to pay for medical expenses.

“This is a challenge that will be faced by Malaysians because we are getting closer to reaching the status of an aging nation as early as 2030,” he said.

Elaborating further, he said the financial burden would be borne not only by the government but also by taxpayers in the future if the elderly could not meet their basic needs.

“I would like to suggest that EPF members seize this opportunity to obtain appropriate insurance and takaful coverage through i-Lindung,” he added.


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