KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 7): The Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir said the fund has managed to remain resilient under unprecedented circumstances, despite having to face financial shocks and challenges in a global environment marred by the Covid-19 pandemic and other economic and political uncertainties.
“The Covid-19 pandemic, along with other economic and political uncertainties, has had a tremendous impact on both the international and domestic investment markets.
“One of the main factors contributing to the EPF’s long-standing reputation as the nation’s premier retirement savings fund is its ability to pivot and introduce new capabilities to meet the ever-evolving expectations of its stakeholders,” Ahmad Badri said in the EPF's latest annual report for 2021.
He said that EPF’s values, and what they stand for, are the key elements that drive its actions and decisions.
Clear examples of these can be found in EPF’s efforts to take the lead on social protection, its commitment to providing long-term returns and the extraordinary assistance provided to members, he added.
"Social protection is a human right intended for all, regardless of whether they are in the formal or informal sectors. We are appreciative of the Government’s support for the fund, which is now able to take this opportunity to encourage more voluntary contributions from those who are employed in informal sectors.
"This is to ensure they have the eventual financial safety net that the EPF, as a retirement fund, can provide," he said.
According to Ahmad Badri, the EPF is no longer merely managing members’ savings for returns.
He said the EPF is also ramping up its efforts across all stakeholders and exploring the dynamics of public-private collaboration to spur economic growth.
"In 2021, the EPF signed two memoranda of understanding, with on-demand work platform GoGet Malaysia in February and with Grab Malaysia in September, to increase and expand social protection coverage to those currently not included in the EPF scheme.
"This will encourage them to prepare for their retirement, in addition to enjoying the benefits as EPF members such as annual dividends, tax relief and other advantages accorded to members," he said.
Looking back, Ahmad Badri said the year 2021 marked the EPF’s entry into its eighth decade of operations, and despite undergoing continuous year-on-year growth and transformation, its focus on helping members achieve a better future remains unchanged.
As challenging as the year was, 2021 was also a year of hope and optimism, as global economies began to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which began in early 2020.
"We can take pride in the fact that the work we have done and continue to do at the EPF has helped Malaysians in many meaningful ways, and made difficult times a little easier.
"As we move forward, the EPF acknowledges that continuous transformation is key to ensuring progress. In recognising this, we have enabled initiatives to sustain delivery of excellent services to our members," he said.