SHAH ALAM: The median savings of Bumiputera members aged below 55 in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) have increased to RM8,254 in the financial year ending December 2023 (FY2023) from RM4,900 in FY2022 due to withdrawals during the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic, the Bumiputera median savings dropped by 70 per cent from RM15,500 pre-pandemic.

Newly appointed EPF chief executive officer Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn told reporters that the median savings for Bumiputera has somewhat recovered compared to the previous year.

He said this during the question-and-answer session after announcing the EPF’s performance and dividend for FY2023 here today.

The median savings for Indian members has improved to RM17,375 in 2023 compared with RM14,900 in 2022, whereas for Chinese members, it has improved to RM48,627 from RM45,800 previously.

The pension fund also said that as of December 2023, the EPF’s new member registrations amounted to 460,447, bringing the total number of EPF members to 16.07 million.

Out of that amount, a total of 8.52 million were active members, which now represent 50 per cent of Malaysia’s 17.03 million labour force as at end-2023

Chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir attributed the positive increase in the EPF’s active members to the EPF’s coverage expansion initiatives.

He said the expansion of EPF’s reach has ensured that more individuals have access to proper social protection and future income security, thereby fostering greater financial inclusivity and resilience across society.

“The EPF’s ongoing efforts to widen coverage can also be seen through the encouraging growth of its i-Saraan programme, which allows workers in the informal sector or those with no formal income to save for their retirement with the EPF.

“In 2023, the number of i-Saraan participants recorded a substantial increase of 31 per cent to 382,983 from 291,743 in 2022,” he said.

Overall, total contributions increased to RM97.56 billion in 2023, an improvement of 15 per cent from 2022.

Ahmad Badri added that the increase reflects improvements in members’ financial capacity, resulting from the progressive recovery of incomes, employment and the economy, while also reflecting the continuous trust in the EPF in safeguarding members’ savings. -Bernama

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