Time to embrace serious pension, retirement reforms, says Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR – It’s time for Malaysians to adopt serious reforms to its pension and retirement system to ensure financial equity and security for all Malaysians. Prime Minister Datuk seri Anwar Ibrahim said.

Anwar stated that a recent study found that 26,1% of respondents over the age of sixty will continue to work as long as their health permits, due to their inability to secure enough income to fund their retirement.

He stated that the elderly population in Malaysia is more vulnerable to poverty than the average Malaysian, since only 29 percent of Malaysians receive a pension or income similar to a pension during retirement.

The data from the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) shows that one-fourth of members have exhausted their savings in less than 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.

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.

Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said that reforms in the Malaysian Pension Framework are needed to ensure every generation of this nation can look forward to aging with dignity.

“New solutions will be needed to ensure that no one is left out and that all layers of society benefit from social protection.” Anwar said that by gradually expanding EPF coverage, more Malaysians will be able to accumulate sufficient retirement savings.

Anwar said that it will only take Malaysia 23 years to transition from an ageing to an older nation, with 14% over 65.

He said that the unity coalition is committed to improving the lives of Malaysians over the age of 50 and creating a society more inclusive and just for everyone in accordance with the concept Madani.

In this regard, the Government plans to strengthen social assistance two pillars. The government will strengthen its social assistance programs to offer support and safety nets for Malaysians facing financial hardship.

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

Related Articles