Browsing: Retirement Planning

EPF@KWSP – EPF Declares 6.9% Dividend For 2017

On 10 Feb 2018, EPF@KWSP declares 6.9% dividend for conventional savings for year 2017, and 6.4% for shariah savings. A few days before the official announcement of these dividend rates, there are some posting and sharing on the internet that EPF@KWSP member can expect a very good dividend rates for 2017. This is the highest dividend rates in 20 years (since 1997). For me, this is the highest dividend rates I’ve received from EPF@KWSP because I only joined the work force and started my EPF in 2000. The dividend rates for 2016 was 5.7%. For the dividend rates since inception in 1952, you can click here.

Personally, I think many of Malaysian are very happy with these dividend rates because it does affect our retirement planning. With high cost of livings and increasing inflation rates, this good news does help in increasing the amount of savings in our EPF@KWSP accounts.

On 10 Feb 2018, I logged in to my i-Akaun and the 2017 dividend already credited to my account. I had some difficulty to access to EPF website but after a few trial I managed to log in successfully.  I guess many other EPF@KWSP members also trying to access to their i-Akaun to check on their latest EPF@KWSP latest statement.

Thanks to EPF@KWSP team for this good news. We hope to see continuous excellent results for the years to come.

photo credit: Leo Reynolds KUMPULAN WANG SIMPANAN PEKERJA via photopin (license)

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How To Top Up Manulife PRS via Maybank2u (2017)

Earlier this week, I got frustrated when I wish to top up my Manulife PRS investment through Maybank. I’ve done that before and I did shared on my previous post. It was simple and quick and easy too. But this time, when I wish to do my transfer, I saw additional details which is PRS account number. Not a problem because I have my PRS account number. But, the transaction was unsuccessful. The error message mentioned ‘Unsuccessful – Invalid bill account/reference number. Rejecte Code: [0087]. I tried for second and third time, but still failed. At last, I called my agent and told her the issue I faced. I sent her the error page and she told me to remove the last 2 character of my PRS account number [PRS account number consist of 12 characters XXXXXXXXXX-X. I just omit the last 2 character ‘-X’]. Finally, my transaction is successful. She reminded me to send her my Maybank online transaction slip, together with a print screen to proof that the Maybank account holder is under my name. Because she told me, this year onward, third party is not allowed for payment of PRS investment. Something related to anti money laundering act.

There comes the second problem. Because a friend of mine had transferred her fund to me so that I can assist her to top up her PRS investment. Previous year, I had successfully helped her to top up her fund too. Due to the anti money laundering act, I had to transferred back the fund to her, so that she can do IBG from her own bank account to PRS Maybank account. Quite troublesome.

Luckily I had contacted my agent earlier when my bank transfer was unsuccessful, and she advised me that I will not be able to help my friend to top up her fund through my bank transaction. Even if I can successfully transferred the fund, the fund will not be updated to  my friend PRS account due to different bank account name vs PRS account name.

So, lesson learned:

1) First, check with PRS agent before performing any transaction;

2) Online top up must be through PRS account holder name only. No third party is allowed;

3) Alternatively, PRS member can choose to deposit cash but the original bank-in slip must be submitted to the agent.

photo credit: Senior Guidance Piggy bank with dollar bills via photopin (license)

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EPF@KWSP – EPF Declares 5.7 Percent Dividend Rate For 2016

On Sunday, EPF@KWSP declared a 5.7% dividend for the year of 2016. Compared with last year, in which the 2015 dividend was 6.4%, 2016 dividend percentage has dropped about 0.7%.
Of course I am hoping for higher dividend, but I am happy with EPF@KWSP 2016 dividend rate. Last year has been a challenging year globally and locally. So, I am grateful for 5.7% dividend rate.
I logged-in to my EPF@KWSP i-Akaun on the same day and my 2016 dividend has been updated in my statement.
You may read the new here on The Star Online or on EPF@KWSP website.

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EPF@KWSP – EPF Declares 6.4 Percent Dividend Rate For 2015

Today, EPF@KWSP declares 6.4% dividend for 2015. This is lower than 2014 dividend rate which was 6.75%.
Upon reading, the news on The Star Online, I log-in to my i-Akaun and I can see the 2015 dividend already credited to my account. So, for i-Akaun users, you can check your 2015 dividend now. For those without i-Akaun, you can obtain your latest statement from your nearest EPF@KWSP kiosks or branches. 
You may read the full news here and here.

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Having Enough For Retirement

In Oct 2015, I was reading this article ‘Having enough for retirement‘ on The Star Online. It is worrying that most of KWSP contributors on the verge of retirement do not have enough savings for their retirement. This is also a sad situation that 68% of this group has less than RM50K KWSP savings. With some simple calculation – RM1000 for every month, RM50K can only last for 50months which is slightly more than 4 years. How about the life of these retiree after 4  years? 
One of the many reasons for this insufficient retirement fund is limited financial literacy among the contributors. Most contributors were not aware of the impact of limited fund for retirement  and the importance of retirement planning. With proper financial literacy, contributors should be able to plan ahead for their retirement at a younger age.
The other reason will be low salary package of the wage earners. With about 23% deduction from monthly salary, with estimation of 30 years of working years, the total savings should be quite a huge amount and should be enough to cover the next 20 years of retirement. But, with low salary package, this 23% savings is not going to produce a good amount for a financially-worry-free retirement.
So, are you having enough for retirement? Let us take some time from our busy schedule and evaluate our retirement planning.

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KWSP@EPF Full Withdrawal Stays At 55

This week, the hot topics for many Malaysian is on the ‘Enhancement Initiatives of EPF Scheme’. Among the initiatives is to raise the full withdrawal to 60 from the current 55. From 21 Apr till 5 May 2015, KWSP@EPF is inviting its member to contribute their opinion through the online survey by logging in to i-Akaun. Since I am an i-Akaun user, so, last night I took some time to log-in, to further understand the enhancement scheme. 
Among the questions asked is whether the member agree or disagree to raise the current full withdrawal age to 60 years old. Of course I disagree because I think at 60, I will be too old to enjoy my retirement fund. Other than this, KWSP@EPF also shared a few options to maximize its members’ retirement fund. The survey consist of a few sections with clear explanation and example on some of the questions asked. I spent about 30mins to complete the survey. I find that it is important to further understand the meaning of the question ask by clicking on the explanation and examples provided. Because, a sentence might not be able to give a clear picture of the actual meaning of that question. At the end of the survey, member is given an opportunity to leave a comment.
Overall, I would say KWSP@EPF had done a great job in creating the online survey to gather feedback from its member. And as at today, more than 50K member had responded to the online survey.

Based on the survey, today, Prime Minister had also announced that KWSP@EPF full withdrawal stays at 55. You can read the article here.

I would still strongly encourage you to participate in the survey. 

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Retirement Guidelines

I love reading on retirement matter. This article on The Star Online today provides a good guidelines on retirement mistakes to avoid. Some thoughts after reading this article:

1) Plan early and take advantage of ‘The power of compounding interest’. The earlier you start your retirement savings, the longer duration you will have and the bigger your retirement fund will grow.

2) Do not rely on EPF@KWSP alone for your retirement planning. Do additional retirement saving such as Private Retirement Scheme (PRS) or have additional investment with unit trust companies.

3) Take consideration of the effect of inflation in your retirement planning. If you think you need RM3000/month and to retire in 10 years, then you might actually need RM5000/month to retire by taking consideration of 6% inflation yearly.

4) Have a good medical coverage and purchase the policy as early as possible. As we age, the needs for medical care increase. A good medical coverage will greatly lessen the financial burden.

5) Learn to take risk to grow your nest egg. Ensure a portion of your nest egg is under high income generating portfolio.
No matter at what junction of our life, let’s take some time and plan for our retirement.

photo credit: Retirement via photopin (license)

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EPF@KWSP – EPF Declares 6.75 Percent Dividend Rate For 2014

EPF@KWSP today declares  6.75% dividend rate For 2014. This is much better compare to last year dividend rate which was 6.35%.
I am a bit surprised with the high dividend rate because I was thinking the dividend rate for 2014 might dropped compare to 2013 due to volatile market situation and slow economic in the global market. But, of course I am very happy with the 6.75% dividend rate.
Based on the announcement on EPF@KWSP website, contributors may view their updated account statement via i-Akaun or check through EPF Kiosks or visit any EPF@KWSP branches starting from Sunday, 8 Feb 2015.  I managed to log in to my i-Akaun and the 2014 dividend already credited to my account. Double Thumps Up to EPF@KWSP for the great work done!
 Let’s hope for many more fruitful years ahead.

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Can We Rely on KWSP @ EPF Savings to Fund for Our Retirement Years?

Reading from Yahoo News yesterday, it is sad to know that almost 70% of active KWSP @ EPF contributors at age 54 have less than RM50,000 in their accounts. These group of contributors only have about  6 more years to increase their savings in their KWSP @ EPF accounts. Retirement age for private sector employees had been increased to 60 years old since July last year. But, it seems like many companies are still practicing the 55-year old retirement age.
With inflation and increasing cost of living, it will be hard for retiree to enjoy their retirement years. 
With the minimum wage of RM900 for West Malaysia and RM800 for East Malaysia, how much can we expect from our KWSP @ EPF savings when we retire? Even though, the total savings of monthly EPF is 24% (11 percent from employee and 13 percent from employer, 12 percent from employer for those earning more than RM5000 per month), it is still not enough to support our retirement years.

We can’t rely on KWSP @ EPF savings for our retirement years.

First, we must find alternative to increase our income. Second, we must save a big portion of our monthly income. Third, we must invest our savings so that we can grow our hard earned money. Forth, we must be careful with our money related matters especially nearing or after retirement. I understand you need to help your children through their college year, but they have unlimited alternative nowadays – the most common one is PTPTN. I understand you need to help to get a car for your children when they start working, but they can opt public transport for the first few months until they save enough to buy a car. I strongly disagree if you wish to pay for your child’s wedding or down payment / monthly installment for their home. Your retirement savings is for you during your retirement years. Your children still have plenty times to earn their income.

I would like to repeat again, we can’t rely on our KWSP @ EPF savings for our retirement years. It’s never too late to take a good look at your retirement savings and start to plan from there. Stop blaming the situation but take action and be responsible for our own decision.

photo credit: 401(K) 2013 via photopin cc

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