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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

EPF to launch new housing loan scheme soon

KUALA LUMPUR: EPF contributors should hold off using the money in their Account II to buy a house until the new scheme which would enable them to obtain a higher housing loan is implemented.

Chief executive officer Tan Sri Azlan Zainol said while EPF was keen to launch the scheme as soon as possible it had to wait until the banks were ready to implement it.

“The banks are studying it. In principle, they are agreeable,” he told reporters at the International Social Security Association (ISSA) technical seminar here yesterday.

During the tabling of the Budget last October, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had announced that the government would launch a scheme to enable EPF contributors to utilise current and future savings in Account II in January this year.

Najib said the scheme, which would enable EPF contributors to be eligible for higher financing to purchase higher value houses, was limited to a purchase of one house at any one time and subject to conditions stipulated by EPF.

During the tabling of the Budget, Najib had also announced the establishment of the 1Malaysia retirement savings scheme where, as an incentive, the Government would contribute 5%, subject to a maximum of RM60 per annum for every RM100 contribution in addition to the existing dividend paid by EPF.

This scheme is for the self-employed and those without fixed income such as taxi drivers, hawkers, farmers and fishermen, who retire without pensions or any form of EPF savings.

Azlan said the 1Malaysia retirement scheme had received encouraging response; it had recorded RM3.4mil in total savings from 8,000 contributors since its establishment on Jan 2.

Of them, 3,000 are self-employed traders.

While contributors can contribute a minimum of RM50 or a maximum of RM5,000 to the scheme monthly and may withdraw their savings upon attaining the age of 55, the Government’s contribution is only for five years.

By The Star

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