Thursday, June 12, 2014

MALAYSIA:::EPF Must Protect Interests Of Contributors, Says MTUC

PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (left) shakes hand with EPF CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan at the Parliament yesterday.  (PIC: Bernama)PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (left) shakes hand with EPF CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan at the Parliament yesterday. (PIC: Bernama)KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident (EPF) has been hailed as a “success story” by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). But the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has reminded EPF to maintain high standards of transparency and efficiency in all its undertakings to safeguard contributors’ interests.
“It’s good that EPF has done well but they must continue practising high standards and ensure their investments will promise contributors good returns. As they are investing more abroad, they should look into beefing up their risk management,” said MTUC president Mohd Khalid Atan.
He also said they should device strategic plans for the future and constantly keep the contributors informed over their dealings.
“They have improved over the years and the dividends have increased. I hope by year end the pay out to the contributors would also increase substantially.”

PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed described EPF as a “success story” following a 58 per cent increase in gross revenue between the first quarters of last year and this year at Parliament yesterday. Nur Jazlan also said contributors had no reason to worry about investments made by EPF.
This was because EPF’s ability in handling the contributions was by the agency’s upper-level management that followed world-class standards.
He described EPF’s success should be emulated by government bodies in other ministries.
Nur Jazlan said the standards imposed by its own board were higher than those imposed on other statutory funds.
“We wanted to see whether they carry out their responsibilities professionally or not,” he said after chairing a meeting with EPF representatives regarding their management of real estate investments, both in Malaysia and overseas.
“Retirees may still be in doubt about how well EPF can manage their finances. Some may even feel that the EPF is low on funds or may go bankrupt. I would say their management has been professional, shows high corporate governance and is run by world-class standards.”
Nur Jazlan said Malaysians should not cash out their funds upon reaching retirement age as the returns were better, even for those not financially prudent.
This was because EPF has several programmes to help them manage their money, which can promise greater returns.
In April, the PAC raised concerns over EPF’s expanding overseas investment, indicating it was beyond the oversight of local regulators.
The pension fund had chalked up RM6.46 billion in real estate investments abroad with RM4.06 billion in the United Kingdom, RM1.55 billion in Australia, RM550 million in Singapore and RM300 million in Europe.
However, Nur Jazlan said EPF’s 20-member board have kept a sharp eye on all their investments and in accordance to the Finance Ministry’s guidelines.
“EPF’s total investment on equity, bonds and property amounted to RM468.36 billion locally and RM118.3 billion overseas,” he said.
“In the first quarter of 2013, they recorded a total gross income of RM5.6 billion and in the same period this year, it grew to RM8.83 billion.”

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