KUALA LUMPUR – The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) dividend for this year will depend on market performance, the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, and global coronavirus immunity, said CEO Tunku Alizakri Alias.

The fund today declared a dividend of 5.2% for conventional savings and 4.9% for shariah savings for 2020.

The dividends are slightly lower than 2019’s 5.4% for conventional savings and 5% for shariah savings.

“It is too early to forecast the dividend for 2021, as it is only the beginning of the year. We need to see how it performs for the rest of the year. Market conditions are currently uncertain,” said Tunku Alizakri during a virtual question-and-answer session on EPF’s 2020 financial performance.

Chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir said the vaccine roll-out will have important bearings on the outlook for the year.

“We are also cognisant of new strains of Covid-19 that are easily transmitted. However, we believe that the situation is being well managed, with governments everywhere ensuring that vaccines get to people as efficiently as possible.

“In Malaysia, the first batch of vaccines has arrived, and will soon be administered to the population.”

He said EPF, a 70-year-old institution and one of the world’s oldest pension funds, remains focused on its mandate to help members have enough savings for a sustainable retirement. 

“We will also embark on a new withdrawal scheme to allow members to purchase insurance or takaful products as announced in Budget 2021, slated for an end-of-year roll-out.”

Tunku Alizakri, in reply to a question on a tiered dividend scheme, said: “It has a complex structure compared to the current scheme, which offers the same dividend for all members.

“EPF has to touch base with members on the idea of a tiered dividend, and they will have a say in the dividend policy going forward.”

Tunku Alizakri, whose services as CEO ends today, will be replaced by Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan, whose appointment is effective Monday. – Bernama, February 27, 2021

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