Employee Provident Fund known as the EPF is a federal statutory body under recognition of the Ministry of Finance’s recognition. It runs the retirement savings plan and retirement planning required for private sector workers in Malaysia. The EPF Malaysia has authorized in 1951 following to the Employees Provident Fund Ordinance 1951, under the Director of National Postal. The EPF Act 1991 wants employees and their employers to save on their retirement savings, and allows employees to withdraw these savings during retirement of for special purposes. The Employee Provident Fund (EPF) retirement account scheme for housewives, the first is expected to be part of the ten promises of the government in a hundred days completed beginning August 15, 2018. However Carolina (2018) stated that EPF was proposed as part of ten promises of the government within a hundred days is being implemented starting next week. Pakatan Harapan government was introduced i-Suri to starting saving independently for their old age special for housewives, single mothers, divorces and widows. Dr. Wan Azizah who is Minister of Development Women, Family and Community at Malaysia made an announcement at the EPF International Social Security Conference 2018 about EPF for housewives called i-Suri which is the programmed will be stand in three phases. I-Suri is special government Incentive for Parents registered in the National Database on Poverty (eKasih). There are some implementations of the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) for housewives which are the programed will be rolled out in three phases. The phase one consists of housewives to the head of household. The second phase targeted for the implementation of the government’s contribution was increased to RM50, where RM10 would be for protection under the SOCSO. Government initiative provide opportunities eligible to register i-Saraan which is the Retirement Savings Scheme (SP1M) with EPF because housewives not qualify to register e-kasih at the time set by government and benefits for EPF members.
As a beginning, the objective group for Phase One contained housewives to the main of the household. An example main of the household is married men which are for their each wife, single mothers, and widows registered with e-Kasih. According to Dr Wan Azizah said a minimum contribution of RM5 per month in the program represents the commitment of the people and at the same time instilled the nature of the savings for their future. This means that the welfare of the people will care by the attention of the government. Individuals who can apply for at least RM5 monthly or Rm60 a year for a government incentive of RM40 a month are women whose profile is recorded in e-Kasih before 30 June 2018. Andy (2018) if they want to contribute more than RM5 a month, they are eligible for government incentive of RM40. However, EPF accounts automatically will be deposited RM40 once their application is successful.
After that, the second phase, targeted for implementation in January next year will see the government’s contribution raised to RM50, where RM10 will go towards protection under SOCSO for housewives but only after legislative changes are made in Dewan Rakyat allows this move (Caroline, 2018). On January next year, after legislative to confess adjustment are made in Dewan Rakyat, the government’s improvement to RM50 and SOCSO with RM10.Furthermore, women’s association and housewives appreciate Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail because of the structure progress that allow housewives to contribute to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). Yimie (2018) says they also applaud the clarification by the Deputy Prime Minister that the proposed 2% EPF contribution will be from the husband’s existing 11% contribution without any extra deduction from the husband’s earnings. Government will deduct 2% for (EPF) contribution to housewives from 11% current contribution Employee Provident Fund (EPF) husband’s. (Chan, 2018) which is one of housewives said “When we reach retirement age, we can use the EPF savings. This will lighten the burden of our children. Housewives will not need to depend too much on their husbands or children for money when they reach retirement age”. She goes on to say that as housewives must be independent and when old age and not to rely to their husbands or children. Children will getting married and had their own family need to take responsibility also. Housewives will feel appreciated for their contribution and sacrifices as their trust to families when this new policy can be seen because sometimes their husband overlooked and forget what their housewives or homemakers contributes also sacrifices. Their husband also will happy because there will not be an extra deduction of earnings.
Moreover, housewives who registered with e-Kasih after June 30, 2018, they will not be qualified for i-Suri but shall rather be qualify to register for i-Saraan which is the Retirement Savings Scheme (SP1M) with EPF. People who are below 55 years old, who are self-employed and do not earn usual income will get government initiative and they can contribute savings scheme in their way.
Furthermore, assistance of Pakatan Harapan advice to look for they also people’s representative for those women appliance for i-Suri that had been rejected by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). According to Irene (2018), assemblyman from Bukit Asek said that they will assist by submitting their names to be rechecked at the Federal Women, Family and Community Development Ministry. According to statistics from eKasih, there are a total of 221,890 housewives, 98,536 widows and 28,116 divorcees who will be eligible to enjoy like the government incentive by participating in i-Suri.
In fact, there are benefit for Employee Provident Fund (EPF) housewives who sign up for i-Suri will be able to enjoy the same benefits as EPF members such as annual dividends on their retirement savings, age 50,55 and 60 able to make withdrawal from EPF savings , incapacitation benefits, quality for tax relief and death benefit. The Government makes contribution of up to RM200 into the EPF account of eligible individuals who make personal contribution during the period August until December 2018 so total contribution by the government in the subsequent year is RM480 per annum. Payment of contribution by government have three type such as cash or cheque at the EPF’s receipting counter, cash at cheque at any counter of the EPFF’s panel banks and fund transfer via online banking services by the appointed banks.
In addition, (Azizah, 2018) said that programme will then progress to the third phase where 2% of the husband’s EPF contribution will go to their housewives’ account. “To arrive to this phase will take some time as this will require amendments to be made to the EPF Act 1991.” Dr Wan Azizah and Ministry of Finance still analyze the different to taking into application several financial and non-financial factors and their wish to be able to apply third phase in early 2020. If factors of financial and non-financial had no any issue and doesn’t give the impact to socio economic to the country, the Third Phase will starting in early 2020 but must be figure out from government.
Therefore, according to the government’s web portal, those who are entitled to register and enlisted into e-Kasih are households who earn less than RM1,000 a month at rural areas and RM1,500 at urban areas. This means that housewives that stay rural areas that earn less RM1000 and rural areas RM1,500 a month of course not enough to survive and support their family because need to fulfill their necessity. Their expenses might only enough for need only such as to pay rent house, outfit, utilities but other expenses like medicine if their kids sick is not enough to support. So they qualify to register e-Kasih to get the benefit.
Nevertheless, (Azizah,2018) Deputy Prime Minister said the implementation of the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) salary deduction for a husband who has more than one wife is currently being fine-tuned by the EPF and Social Security Organization (SOSCO). She said that government’s addition of RM50 each contribution for housewives will only cover the first wife if husband had polygamous marriage. Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the benefit will not be continued to second, third or fourth wives. This is because husband’s responsibility to make sure they able to support another wife such as financial and their needs and it also according religious beliefs so why government should dispute as well as be responsible for that .Future housewives and their children if the family’s breadwinner to avoid any incidents gets safely from government’s contributions.
In phase three, it requires amendments to the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) Act (1991). The government would assign RM20 million for the first phase of the scheme, women had registered under the e-Kasih programme that targeting about 359,065. According to Shahril (2018) the EPF executive officer said the programme is not about increasing the EPF’s assets but to extend coverage and provide social security for more Malaysians. However, ministry would have to cooperate with the EPF to list housewives in remote locations and government need to figure out the details of their record so it is not at their expense.
According to Shahril (2018), EPF’s branches and mobile teams will be actively reaching out to register eligible persons. Government will working with the fund and it linked agencies such as Bank Simpanan Nasional to collect an initial deposit of RM5, as well as telecommunication companies to study if the RM5 payment can be made using a mobile phone. The standards for new registrants will be same way as old EPF members. For instance, the government also hopes to see more women in the country receive their social protection and income safety and ensure they are able to live with dignity throughout their golden years.
Additionally, some people dispute about EPF for housewife only 2%. A lawyer has welcomed proposals to give housewives part of their husband’s contribution to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), but says the proposed 2% figure is too small to follow the value of their work. This is happened because housewife did many things even just at home only such as she cooks and don’t need a chef, she also can drive pickup their children go and back to school, tuition and don don’t need driver, at the same time housewife look at their kids and don’t need a nanny.
Otherwise, some people suggested that instead of a 2% salary cut, the government must consider into the EPF .RM50 contribution for a single mothers and housewives with husbands who don’t work. For instance, social security (SOCSO) is important to all citizens but it is especially deciding to enable the financial well-being of women. Women likely to live longer than men. According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, women outline men by about 4.7 years, the average man living until age 72.7 while women live until Age 77.4. The increase age of women may also increase the risk that their saving and their pensions may lose their purchasing power.
On the other hand, women deserve sufficient retirement income, regardless whether that all the time woman were spent unpaid at the home. In fact, housewife always need work long hours without leave and unpaid should be the first to be entitled for pensions from the family. E-kasih is a database system established at the national level to support the planning, implementation and monitoring of the financial program for those in 40 (B40) categories.
Consequently, through strategic partnership of government with the EPF and SOCSO, I hope to see all women in this country receive the social protection and income security that actually the deserve and to make sure that they are able to live with peace throughout their golden years. Past mistakes that happen before this make us more creative and the time is reach to change and find other solutions to solve the problem through by efforts from all parties and citizen to make improvement. We can earn from past mistake and introduce effective policies that respond economic conditions become more stable and also strengthen preparation for the future. Socio-economic security is key to the social benefit of the country and its population. All about financial is very important to all the country because it give impact to our economic reputation. Malaysians will enjoy with this opportunities that available to them because it is the Government’s priority.