On 11 Feb 2021, the Malaysian government announced that members of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) no longer have to meet certain eligibility criteria prior to requesting the withdrawal of retirement funds (“i-Sinar”) from their EPF Account 1. On 2 Mar 2021, the EPF also announced a timetable for requesting i-Sinar withdrawal payments. The policy change aims to help individuals address the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic — previously, members had to show they had suffered a significant reduction of their income due to COVID-19 and ceased paying their EPF contributions.
Earlier in the pandemic, the EPF launched the i-Lestari Account 2 Withdrawal Scheme to provide members with financial relief. A total of MYR 18.1 billion has been withdrawn by 5.16 million members under the i-Lestari facility. The employees’ EPF contribution rate for 2021 was reduced from 11% to 9%.