Civil servants who has been contributing to the EPF (Employee Provident Fund) as part of their retirement saving can now opt for pension instead, the Malaysia government has announced.
Some 40,000 civil servants affected with the decision can exercise the option to revert back to the pension scheme in January 2009, with changes to start taking effect in February 2009.
Through the government pension scheme, pensioners will be able to generate monthly income, together with other benefits and perks that come with it.
Other benefits include free medical treatments as well as an extension of ex-gratia payments to the immediate family upon the death of the pensioner. In contrast, those who opt to contribute to EPF fund do not enjoy the medical treatment and the gratuity payments.
The union bodies of the civil servants, including Cuepacs and NUTP (National Union of Teaching Profession) welcome the decision to allow the switching of schemes. According to both, many of the government workers realized they made the wrong move by choosing EPF contribution and had been asking to switch back to the pension scheme.