PETALING JAYA – Najib Razak’s proposal to restructure the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) dividend payouts on a sliding scale has been described as “robbery in disguise”.

DAP deputy youth chief Chiong Yoke Kong was responding to the former prime minister’s proposal that EPF members with lower savings receive higher dividends.

He said Najib’s proposal in a Facebook post yesterday reflected that he did not understand the fundamentals of the EPF system.

Najib had proposed that members who contributed less should receive a higher dividend compared to those who contributed more.

In a statement, Chiong responded: “Allowing members with lower deposits to obtain higher interest rates is actually a robbery in disguise against law-abiding and honest members who have made long-term deposits.”

It was also a complete betrayal of the principles of fairness and justice, he added.

Chiong said EPF was a social protection scheme implemented by the government to make it compulsory for citizens to save part of their earnings for retirement, he added.

Employers and employees are required by law to deposit a specified proportion of their salaries into the employee’s personal EPF account, which is credited with annual dividends.

Chiong said Najib was also wrong to point at members who had considerable amounts of EPF savings, adding that wealth inequality was not an issue because EPF members accumulated their savings through a system of time and compound interests.

It was reported previously that 6.1 million EPF members have less than RM10,000 in their accounts after making withdrawals under the government’s pandemic assistance programmes.

Of this number, 3.6 million have less than RM1,000 in their retirement savings.

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