The Employees’ Provident Fund (known by its acronym EPF, or KWSP in Malay) is a Malaysian government agency that manages a compulsory savings plan and retirement planning for private and non-pensionable public sector employees.
The EPF functions through monthly contributions from employees and their employers towards saving accounts. While in savings these funds may be used in various investments by the EPF or, in some cases, by the members themselves.
There are several benefits to contributing to the EPF, namely:
The EPF, by law, has a minimum dividend rate of 2.5%, but historically has had a much higher rate. For example, in 2014, the dividend rate was 6.75%.
Your EPF contributions are tax-free up to a maximum of RM4,000 per annum, since they are deducted from your chargeable income for calculation of income tax.
At the age of 50, Malaysian citizens and permanent residents are allowed to withdraw up to 30% of their savings, and at the age of 55 they can withdraw their full savings.
A full withdrawal can also be made in the event that an EPF member emigrates or becomes disabled.
Foreigners who opt to contribute to the EPF may withdraw their funds when they have terminated their employment and are about to leave the country.
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