Monday, 23 July 2012

'Retirement age not extended so gov't could hog EPF funds'

Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam today dismissed claims that the government is pushing up the minimum retirement age from 55 to 60 so that employees’ savings in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) can be held by the body for longer.

Speaking to the media in Putrajaya today, he confirmed that the EPF withdrawal age remains at 55, even though the minimum retirement age has been raised.

NONE“Rest assured it is not going up to 60 years to keep money in EPF to support (the government),” Subramaniam (centre) said.

“People will find everything to say (against the government).”

He added that any changes to the EPF minimum withdrawal age will only be made after ample consultation.

“EPF would not make changes now if they want to (bump the withdrawal age up), there will be adequate consultation with stakeholders,” he said.

He added that companies who want to extend retirement age to 60, before the official implementation of the policy, can do so at their discretion.

“I get smses from people who are about to retire asking if it can be officially implemented today, but it’s not so easy,” he said.

He said that employers, in meetings with the ministry, have been varied in their responses and have asked for a grace period of anything from one to five years before implementation.

“Opinions vary and we will make the decision that is fair to everyone,” he said.

The Bill to push minimum retirement age to 60 was passed by the Dewan Negara last week.

14 new foreign firms join outsourcing programme

Earlier, Subramaniam announced that the outsourcing entry point programme under the economic transformation programme (ETP) welcomed an additional 14 new companies to its list from December 2011.

The 14 foreign companies, including multinationals AIG, Frost & Sullivan and Chartis, which outsourced services like finance and accounting, human resources shared services and outsourcing and engineering services.

Subramaniam said that the companies chose Malaysia not just to cut costs but also because of the availability of talent here.

“In the first quarter of 2012, a total of 2,210 new jobs and over RM318 million in export revenue has been brought in by (the outsourcing projects).

“This represents a significant amount when compared to last year, with a 50.2 percent increase in jobs and nine percent increase in exports.”

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