Rafizi: Govt aims to lower B40’s reliance on EPF withdrawals by creating extra income sources, ensuring salary growth

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said today the government is seeking ways to reduce lower-income group’s reliance on early EPF withdrawal.

He said this requires a holistic approach that includes creating extra income sources for the bottom 40 per cent (B40) households, creating policies that can ensure salary growth, and lowering costs of living.

“We hope to increase more opportunities for the B40 and lower groups to have extra income sources,” said Rafizi at a press conference here.

“We are looking at a policy and programme that can set salary growth targets because we cannot simply look at the cost of living aspect.

“But the government needs to have a clear policy to make sure the salary growth is not seen solely from the aspect of market growth,” he added.

The minister added that replacing the current broad-based and blanket subsidy policy with a more targeted approach will also indirectly lower the rising costs of living.

“If we succeed in implementing targeted subsidies, we are able to transfer our resources from the group that doesn’t need it to the group that needs it.

“This will help in flattening the rising costs of living and the low-income families can handle (inflation) better,” he said.

Between 2020 and 2022, under the leadership of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the government allowed four special EPF withdrawals.

EPF itself in March last year issued a stern warning against allowing more withdrawals.

It said that the country could be facing a crisis where citizens do not have enough savings for their retirement.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, however, said yesterday that his administration does not intend to encourage the public to withdraw any more money from their retirement savings.

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