The Perikatan Nasional government has assured of easier EPF withdrawals for those in need of funds, especially given the twin events of the movement control order (MCO) and the floods which have been wreaking havoc in states on the east coast as well as in Sabah and Sarawak.
In a live address today, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said EPF would provide an advance payment of up to RM1,000 for each eligible applicant under the i-Sinar Category 2.
He said members would only need to declare that they meet the necessary criteria and provide the supporting documents online.
“The government has also asked EPF to facilitate this advance payment process, which will begin on Jan 26,” he said, adding that the retirement savings fund would announce further details in the near future.
He also said over three million applications under the i-Sinar programme had been approved as of Jan 13, with RM24 billion to be channelled this year.
On Nov 6 last year, the government said EPF contributors would be allowed to withdraw up to RM6,000 from their Account 1 at RM500 a month over a period of one year.
This followed the approval given at the height of the initial MCO for EPF members to withdraw a similar amount from their second account every month under the i-Lestari programme, bringing the total amount that could be withdrawn from the retirement fund to RM12,000.
Later that month, the government announced an extension of its i-Sinar programme to allow all contributors to withdraw from their Account 1.
The move was expected to benefit about eight million EPF contributors, involving some RM70 billion from the retirement fund.