KAJANG: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is not planning to adjust employees and employers’ monthly contribution rates anytime soon, in view of the rising cost of living as well as cost of doing business.

“I wouldn’t hastily increase or decrease (the rates) because I think a lot of study needs to be done before we actually look into this,” EPF CEO Tunku Alizakri Alias told reporters after unveiling “Belanjawanku – Expenditure Guide for Malaysian Individuals and Families” here today.

He said an increase in contribution rates would generally mean less take-home pay for the employees and at the same time would affect employers’ cost of doing business.

“There are always implications,” he added, noting that the current employer and employee contribution rates of 12% and 11% respectively are already the fifth highest in the world.

From EPF’s perspective, Alizakri said, the government should rather implement an in-depth study in terms of employees’ salary and wages, taking into account the costs of living as well as the data provided for the newly launched Belanjawanku guidelines.

According to EPF’s website, for employees who receive wages/salaries of RM5,000 and below a month, the portion of employee’s contribution is 11% of their monthly salary while the employer contributes 13%.

For employees who receive wages/salary exceeding RM5,000 a month, the employee’s contribution of 11% remains, while the employer’s contribution is 12%.

Meanwhile, Alizakri said the underlying motivation for developing Belanjawanku guidelines is the problem of low financial literacy, rising cost of living and over-indebtedness among Malaysians.

The guidelines, which is developed based on the actual spending patterns on common goods and services by urban households in the Klang Valley, was created to help Malaysians in terms of their personal and family budgeting.

Asked to update on the airport tax dispute between AirAsia Group and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), Alizakri disclosed that EPF has met up with AirAsia and will be meeting with MAHB soon, without elaborating further.

“We are pleased that they have taken our comments very positively,” he added.

Last December, MAHB sued both AirAsia and AirAsia X for a total of RM36.1 million for refusing to collect the additional RM23 passenger service charges per passenger at klia2.

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