EPF has given more details about the Account 1 withdrawal scheme, known as i-Sinar, which was allowed under Budget 2021.
What you need to know
Before we get into how it works, you need to know that if you take out savings from your Account 1 under i-Sinar, you’ll have to put it back later.
EPF hasn’t given details for how and when you need to replace your savings, or what will happen if you can’t or don’t put it back. But remember, your EPF savings are for your retirement. So, think carefully about withdrawing, especially since you also have to think about replacing it.
One option is for you to take out the minimum amount you’d need to cover your monthly expenses. This way, you’ll minimise the amount of money you’ll have to put back.
Who can use i-Sinar?
Active EPF members can apply for i-Sinar if they:
- Have lost their jobs
- Are on no-pay leave
- Have no source of income
How much can you withdraw?
There are two withdrawal limits under i-Sinar.
- If you have RM90,000 and below in Account 1, you can take out up to RM9,000. But, you’ll have to leave at least RM100 ringgit in your account.
- If you have more than RM90,000 in Account 1, you can withdraw up to RM60,000.
When can you get i-Sinar?
Eligible EPF members can start applying for i-Sinar from December 2020, with the first payment to be made in January 2021.
Depending on the amount you choose to take out, i-Sinar payments will be made in instalments over six months. For accounts with RM90,000 or less, you can get a maximum of RM4,000 in the first month.
For accounts with more than RM90,000, you can get RM10,000 in the first month.
Think carefully before you withdraw!
EPF has also reminded account holders that they should talk to its Retirement Advisory Services and/or the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) to decide how much money they should take out under i-Sinar. Since your EPF savings are for you to live on when you retire, you’ll need to balance between taking out what you need now and what you need in the future.
And remember, you’ll have to replace all of the money you withdraw. If you’ve lost your job or are getting less income, it may be hard for you to plan for putting your savings back.
So, you have to be careful about the amount you take out to avoid problems later.
And no matter what your situation is, it’s always good to make a budget and follow it, to make sure you use your money wisely. You can also read our guide to learn more about retirement planning.