Sales charge on mutual fund investments using EPF capped at 3% Sunday, Mar 2 2008 

Lit Angels at Coleman BKK 

What can I say……what a goooood moooove by the EPF! This means that we investors who decide to withdraw from Account 1 of our EPF to invest in mutual funds now pay only a sales charge of 3% compared to the previous rate of approx. 6%. This takes effect on 1 Jan 2008.

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Budget 2008 – Monthly EPF withdrawals allowed for housing loan repayments Wednesday, Sep 12 2007 

After all the hype about the possibility of a 1% cut in personal tax rates not materialising, Budget 2008 was a bit of a letdown for me. Still, one of the best things for me this year is the government now allowing the monthly housing loan repayments to be made from our EPF account 2. At long last!!

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Getting organized for 2007… Sunday, Apr 8 2007 

Frangipani E&O Penang 

It has really been a while since I’ve had time for my own financial paperwork. This weekend I decided to do just that. My Sunday has been spent ankle deep in a sea of bills, bank statements, loan statements and all those other bits of paper that we all hate to have to go through.

Well, after hours of wading through paperwork (and mindless Channel V reality shows in the background), I’ve written up a To Do list for myself as follows (more or less in order of priority):

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EPF v Mutual Funds: some things you might want to know (part 2) Friday, Aug 11 2006 

How should the regulators respond to this disturbing bit of news then? 

Ultimately, it should be market forces, and not legislation that dictates whether the mutual funds can continue to see EPF monies coming their way.

The fact is that the quantum of annual EPF withdrawals for investment purpose has doubled in a very short period, from RM1 billion in 2001 to over RM 2 billion last year. Likewise, the number of actual withdrawals has also doubled from 108,000 to 223,000 over the same period of time (Source: EPF 2005 Annual Report).

This says that there are a growing number of EPF members out there who are taking advantage of the flexibility given to them by the government to decide how their retirement funds are invested. If the majority are losing money, would we be seeing this kind of growth in investment withdrawals?

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EPF v Mutual Funds: some things you might want to know (part 1) Thursday, Aug 10 2006 

The media outcry over the past week about the losses suffered by investors who have withdrawn their EPF money to invest in mutual funds has been one-sided so far.

According to a report in Mingguan Malaysia on August 5, 2006, since 1996 the value of total funds withdrawn for investments have dwindled from RM9.76 billion to RM9.15 billion as at December 2005, and a loss of some RM600 million had been suffered. However no further information was provided as to how the figures have been derived.

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EPF: To withdraw or not to withdraw Wednesday, Aug 2 2006 

Another institution!

Following on from my recent post about the EPF’s investment performance in 2005, I should talk a little bit more about whether it is a good move to withdraw one’s money for investments and if so, how one can go about to do this.

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EPF investment performance y.e. 31.12.05 Monday, Jul 31 2006 

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Since Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors have a choice whether to leave their money to accumulate with the EPF or to withdraw the money for investment in mutual funds, I feel it’s really important to keep track of the returns given by the EPF.

The Star (18 July 2006) reported that the EPF’s gross income rose by 11.7% to RM13.2bil, and asset size by 9.8% to RM263.8bil, for the financial year ended Dec 31.   I visited the EPF’s website and was able to have a look at the 2005 Annual Report. It gives the EPF’s  investments as at 31 December 2005 as follows:

Value (RM Million)          %
MGS 97,768 37.6%
Loans & Bonds 94,347 36.3%
Equity 49,602 19.1%
Money Market Instruments 16,577 6.4%
Property 1,591 0.6%
TOTAL 259,885 100.0%

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