Eight out of 10 Employees Provident Fund (EPF) members will retire in poverty with only RM4 a month to spend for 20 years, for the B40 (bottom 40 per cent income) group.

This as the median savings for the B40 group was reduced by 61 per cent to RM1,000, and the median savings for the middle 40 per cent income group (M40) fell 17 per cent to RM24,000, reported The Malaysian Reserve.

Prominent economist Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid told the business daily that as such, the government should no longer consider calls for depositers to withdraw funds from the EPF anymore.

"There are no economical and moral arguments for allowing the depositors to withdraw from EPF. The government should provide sufficient assistance and not dig into the rakyat's savings.

"Because of the reckless decision to allow the withdrawal last year, many of the depositors will face a bleak future. It is immoral if the government forces them to use whatever is left of their retirement savings to mitigate the fiscal problems," he said.

Muhammad noted that the "short-sighted" policy will impact Malaysia in the near future as it is an ageing nation, and expected to be an aged nation by 2030, where 15 per cent of its popylation will be senior citizens.

EPF members were allowed to tap into their retirement savings through various schemes, for withdrawals amounting to RM101 billion, since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020.

Umno leaders have urged the government to allow yet another round of withdrawal, but Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has rejected such calls.

It was previously reported that more than six million EPF members have less than RM10,000 in their accounts to last their twilight years.

Of this, 3.6 million people have less than RM1,000, a statement from EPF had revealed last year.

The Bumiputera and Malays made up the bulk of the group with the least number of savings left, with more 4.4 million (54 per cent) having less than RM10,000, and 2 million (25 per cent) having less than RM1,000 left in their accounts.

This was followed by the Chinese (13 per cent), and Indians (seven per cent), who have below RM10,000 in their accounts.

EPF estimates that an individual has to work another four to six years to rebuild the depleted savings nest.

Source: The Malaysian Reserve
Photo source: Malay Mail