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Monday, February 22, 2016

23pct increase in M'sians relinquishing citizenship - EPF

The number of Malaysians renouncing their citizenship increased by 23 percent to 2,206 last year, compared with 1,787 in 2014.

This is according to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), which based its figure on EPF principal withdrawals.

“For 2014, there were 1,787 withdrawals for leaving the country, involving RM99 million in principal.

“In 2015, there was an increase to 2,206 people involving RM134.6 million,” EPF chief executive officer Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said.

“Yes, there was a slight increase, but nothing particularly drastic (in terms of withdrawals),” Shahril Ridza said at a press conference today.

He also confirmed that some people may lose as much as RM20,000 to RM25,000 if they chose to keep their EPF contribution rate at eight percent.

The government recently announced that employees could opt to contribute eight percent to the fund, instead of 11 percent.

“We always advise our members to keep their money invested as long as possible due to the compounding dividend effect,” Shahril Ridza said.

“It's the choice of each individual member. It is very hard for us to generalise and talk about the needs of one member, as if everyone is the same.

“The great thing is that it's voluntary. There are those would benefit by having more cash in their pockets,” he said.

Shahril Ridza expects about half of the EPF contributors to opt to stay at contributing 11 percent.

“What important is the people need to make an important decision, they need to understand what is best for them and be responsible for their decision,” he said.

In his press conference last month on the revision of Budget 2016, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak announced the reduction of three percent in the workers’ monthly EPF contribution to eight percent, as part of his measures to stimulate the economy.

Najib expects a total of RM8 billion to be generated a year following a slash in the contribution rate to the FPF.

“We receive a nett inflow or contributions of between RM24 billion and RM26 billion a year. So, it doesn't really impact us from the cashflow point of view as this is (only) a slight reduction that we will adjust accordingly.

“We are not, from either point of view, particularly worried about it. We are just more worried that we want the people make the right choice. That is more important in the long-term,” Shahril Ridza said.

He said this when asked whether the reduction of RM8 billion to EPF, as a result of the slash of three percent in the workers' contribution from next month to December 2017, would impact EPF’s investments.

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