PETALING JAYA: The maximum matching incentive limit for the i-Saraan programme has been increased from RM300 to RM500 per year effective Jan 1, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) said.
Its Corporate Affairs Department said workers in the informal sectors who have been voluntarily contributing to i-Saraan will receive a matching incentive of 15% of the voluntary contribution.
The initiative, according to EPF, will benefit those under the age of 60 with no fixed income, such as those who are self-employed or workers in the gig sector.
“The government will also continue to give incentives to every i-Saraan participant who contributes, subject to a maximum lifetime incentive of RM5,000.
“This aims to encourage them to continue saving for retirement and allow more members to benefit from this government incentive.
“For the first half of 2023, government incentives amounting to RM28mil have been credited to 211,361 members under the i-Saraan programme,” EPF said in a statement yesterday.
Aside from that, EPF also announced a 50% matching incentive by the government on every RM1 voluntary contribution by housewives under the age of 55 who contributed to the i-Suri programme.
This would also apply to housewives who are registered under the e-Kasih database, subject to a maximum incentive limit of RM300 per year.
“The government will also continue to provide incentives to every i-Suri participant who contributes, subject to a maximum lifetime incentive of RM3,000.
“For 2023, government incentives amounting to RM19mil have been credited to 42,532 members under the i-Suri programme.
“EPF encourages members to leverage the increased matching incentives for i-Saraan and i-Suri programmes so that they are able to further build their retirement savings.”
EPF also said beginning Jan 1, it has separated its Simpanan Konvensional (conventional savings) and Simpanan Syariah portfolios to allow syariah-compliant investment.
For this initiative, EPF said it aimed to allow each portfolio’s returns to be optimised in the long run, with each portfolio having its independent strategic asset allocation.
“Since the Budget 2023 announcement, EPF has been working towards the implementation of this strategic split, aiming to enhance alignment with the mandate and long-term strategic objectives of Simpanan Syariah.
“The move is also proactive to ensure that assets under both Simpanan Syariah and Simpanan Konvensional are well diversified across asset classes, markets, countries, and currencies to ensure sustainable returns,” the statement read.
As of Sept 30 last year, EPF’s investment assets involving both portfolios amounted to RM1,092.32bil, comprising 39% syariah assets and 61% conventional assets.
At the same time, EPF is also enhancing its i-Invest platform to enable transactions for private mandate portfolios.
The enhancements would allow members to transact approved private mandate portfolios, in addition to approved unit trust funds on the i-Invest platform, EPF said, adding that it has also included Environmental, Social, and Governance-based investment products in the list of approved investments to support sustainable and responsible investments and to mainstream EPF’s sustainability agenda.
“Prior to this, members were only able to buy, sell, or switch approved private mandate portfolios through agents. Private mandate portfolios are one of two investment products currently offered under the EPF Members Investment Scheme (MIS).
“In contrast to unit trust funds, private mandate portfolios are investment instruments that can be customised to align closely with a member’s specific objectives, needs, and risk tolerance, managed professionally by authorised fund management institutions,” it said.