92% of Malaysians worry over retirement funds, says BNM


KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) revealed that up to 92% of Malaysians worry over their financial health and needs at old age as well as being unprepared for retirement.

BNM assistant governor Jessica Chew Cheng Lian said 33% were ‘very worried’ about their financial health when they got old, while the remaining 59% were ‘a bit worried’.

Speaking at a panel session themed Your Retirement Aspiration: Making It A Reality at the International Social Security Conference 2016 in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, she pointed out that 40% of Malaysians said they were ready for retirement while 80% claimed to have the strategies to meet expenses at old age.

The most popular strategies include relying on the children or partner, continuing working, and relying on government financial assistance.
Chew stressed that most Malaysians adopted a passive strategy for retirement, with 42% preferring to buy properties, 25% opting to save money in the bank and 18% depending on the Employee Provident Fund (EPF).

She noted that only 24,180 insurance policies with annual premiums of RM280.2mil had been sold since tax incentives were introduced in 2012.

To re-shape the reality among Malaysians, Chew said awareness had been raised through the integration of financial education into formal school curricula for pupils from Standard Four to Six.

“We have also established a financial education network to coordinate and drive financial education initiatives at international level,” she said.

Chew said BNM had also introduced diversified and innovative pension products to help individuals manage the risk of retirement.

She said prospective retirees’ other strategies included improving the incentive structure, such as by encouraging a greater role for employers in providing voluntary occupational pension plans, as well as incentivising income drawdown to avoid premature depletion of savings. – Bernama

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