The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) said a total of 382 funds were approved under the EPF Members Investment Scheme (EPF MIS) for the 2019/2020 period but only 282 funds, including nine new schemes, from 19 fund management institutions (FMIs) qualified for offering. In 2018/2019 period, only 280 funds qualified for offering.
"This is a marginal increase of 0.7% from the same period last year. Members are reminded that investments via the EPF MIS are on voluntary basis and members will assume full responsibility over their decisions to participate in the scheme.
"The EPF has issued guidelines to be complied by FMIs as a measure to safeguard the integrity of the scheme and the interest of participating members, as well as to ensure the FMIs carry out their duties diligently and responsibly. In addition, an independent auditor has been appointed by the EPF to carry out annual audit on the FMIs. The EPF may issue warnings, fines, suspension or even revocation of appointment should any of the FMIs fail to comply with the instructions or guidelines issued," the EPF said.
EPF deputy chief executive officer (investment) Datuk Mohamad Nasir Ab Latif said in the statement the list of unit trust funds offered under the EPF MIS is evaluated annually based on criteria established by the EPF and approved by the Ministry of Finance.
"Any unit trust fund which falls below the minimum eligibility score will be suspended from offering during the period," he said.
According to the EPF, the EPF MIS was introduced as an option for members to invest a portion of their EPF Account 1 savings in unit trust funds or via private mandates managed by the appointed FMIs.
The EPF said that based on members' respective age, they may transfer from their Account 1 up to 30% of the amount in excess of basic savings to be invested in the qualified funds.
Mohamad Nasir said: "With the revision in the quantum of basic savings from RM228,000 to RM240,000 at age 55 effective Jan 1, 2019, members will now accordingly be required to have higher savings in their EPF account in order to be eligible to participate in the EPF MIS."
He said the new quantum is benchmarked against the minimum pension for public sector employees, which has been raised from RM950 to RM1,000 per month.
"We are not making any recommendations or suggestions for members on any of the unit trust funds. We strongly encourage members to seek advice from qualified financial advisers before deciding to participate in the scheme," he said.