Anwar says M’sia needs pension reforms

KUALA LUMPUR – The Prime Minister says it is time for Malaysia to embrace serious reforms of its pension and retirement system in order to provide financial security and equity for Malaysians.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim stated that a recent study found that 26,1% of respondents above the age of 60 would continue working until they were no longer able to do so due to income security issues.

He said that the elderly population is more vulnerable to poverty, as only 29% Malaysians receive pensions or income similar to pensions during retirement.

Data from the EPF shows that one-fourth of members have exhausted their savings in just five years, after they reached withdrawal age.

He said that the lump-sum nature will prevent many Malaysians from being able maintain a reasonable level of living in retirement or manage longevity risks.

Anwar, also Finance Minister, stated that the national pension system needed to be reformated to ensure that each generation can age in dignity.

“New solutions are required to ensure that no one is left out and that all layers of society benefit from social protection.

He added that by expanding EPF coverage over time, more Malaysians will be able to accumulate sufficient retirement savings.

Anwar stated that it is projected to only take 23 years for Malaysians to move from an ageing nation to a nation with a large population over 65.

According to him, the unity coalition was committed to improving the lives of Malaysians over the age of 50 and to building a society that is more inclusive and just for everyone, as per the concept of Madani.

In this regard, the Government plans to strengthen both pillars of Social Protection.

“In terms of social assistance, the Government will continue to strengthen programmes that provide support and safety nets for Malaysians facing financial hardship.

Anwar stated that the government would continue to enhance training initiatives, unemployment aid and other programmes in order to help Malaysians find jobs which will improve their standard of living.

Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan and EPF chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir.

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