KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 7): The Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) chief executive officer Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan said the fund will continue to look for opportunities to pivot and enhance its services to better meet the dynamic needs of EPF members, besides employers and other key stakeholders.
“As one of the pillars of the country’s social protection framework, the EPF’s fund performance and presence in the domestic capital market are integral to the country’s economic success,” Amir Hamzah said in the EPF's latest annual report for 2021.
He said the EPF will focus on delivering on and accelerating its ambition to empower more Malaysians to save for retirement.
At this point, the EPF will be focusing on key priorities as outlined in its Three-Year Rolling Plan (3YRP), Amir Hamzah said.
According to him, the EPF's key priorities are ensuring income adequacy; enhancing the EPF's coverage and achieving a fully environmental, social and governance (ESG)-compliant portfolio by 2030; and becoming climate neutral by 2050.
He said that as the EPF aligns its strategies to the change in business and operational environments, other key activities such as engagement with investee companies and enhancing the strengths of the strong team the EPF has will also move in tandem to ensure the EPF achieves the targets and outcomes it has set for itself.
"What the EPF has accomplished would not have been possible without the dedication, contribution, and commitment of the 5,801-(person) strong team in the EPF. Even in the face of adversity, the team remained resilient and adapted capably to the challenges of the past year, whilst keeping to the EPF’s values of integrity, customer focused, continuous improvements and teamwork.
"Clearly, the real driving force behind the EPF’s achievements are our members and employers who have given us their trust and confidence in managing and enhancing the savings that will see them through their retirement years," Amir Hamzah said.
The EPF is mindful of the existential threat from the Covid-19 pandemic, which began in early 2020.
Amir Hamzah said the global economic recovery is continuing even as world communities face the existential threat brought by the pandemic.
"On the domestic front, we remain optimistic about Malaysia’s (economic) growth prospects following the reopening of economic and social sectors.
"We expect growth to pick up as the year progresses due to heightened domestic and external demand," he said.
Looking back, Amir Hamzah said the EPF had achieved exceptional financial performance in 2021 despite having to manage investments in volatile and unpredictable financial markets during the year.
He said the EPF had in 2021 managed to generate RM68.89 billion in total gross investment income, representing a 9% increase from the RM63.45 billion recorded in 2020.
"Our performance for the year (2021) was largely attributable to our approach to diversification as guided by our strategic asset allocation, which has kept the EPF resilient to financial shocks and challenges in unprecedented situations.
"The EPF’s overseas assets were also critical contributors to its overall performance, where different asset classes, markets, and currencies provided income stability and added value to the EPF’s overall returns. As of December 2021, a total of 37% of EPF’s investment assets were outside of Malaysia, encompassing all asset classes," he said.
According to the EPF's annual report, its total assets in 2021 stood at RM1.01 trillion compared with RM1 trillion in 2020.