Saturday, June 16, 2012

Grace period to make EPF withdrawals

Minimum Retirement Age Bill 2012 is passed.

"However, we will allow a grace period to enable members to make adjustments as to when they prefer to withdraw their funds," he told the New Straits Times yesterday.

This means that employees do not have to wait till 60 to withdraw their funds, as they can do it at 55, pending the announcement of the grace period.

Nik Effendi said EPF would allow the grace period to enable members to make changes.

This comes following the first reading of the bill in Parliament on Wednesday.

The bill, if passed, will raise the retirement age of private sector employees from 55 to 60.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said issues regarding the bill would be discussed in its second reading next week.

He said since the initiative was novel, more feasibility studies needed to be carried out to address the interests of all parties, especially private sector employees.

"I am well aware that there are grouses by youths, who are concerned about their employment chances in the private sector.

"This issue will be also discussed in the second reading, along with EPF and Social Security Organisation issues."

He said this after presenting certificates and basic start-up tools to 240 participants of a skill-enhancing programme in Bukit Beruntung near here.

The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) said the bill had not addressed employers' concerns, despite it submitting a list of complaints to the Human Resources Ministry in April.

FMM said the bill allowed the director-general of the Labour Department to usurp the Industrial Court's powers to direct reinstatement or compensation in lieu of the reinstatement.

It said the bill contradicted the Second Schedule of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 by including future wages in the compensation.

FMM said the Second Schedule stipulated that any relief given should not include any compensation for loss of future earnings, and if there was unlawful retirement and reinstatement was inappropriate, an employer could be ordered to pay termination benefits under the Termination and Lay Off Regulations 1980.

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