Procrastination behind low number of EPF contributors who register nominees

SOME Malaysians just love to procrastinate and settle things at the very last minute. This attitude is seen every year when the deadline to submit income tax returns to the Inland Revenue Board approaches.

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Last year, many people who were required to change their ATM cards to debit cards chose to do so at the last minute, causing congestion at banks.

This habit is believed to be one of the reasons why only four million out of 14 million Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors have registered their nominees.

Prudential Assurance Malaysia Bhd wealth planner Nor Liza Ahmad said Malaysians lacked awareness about wealth management and did not see the need to manage their assets with urgency.

“Everyone, including EPF contributors, should seriously consider where their property and money would be channelled to after they die.

“Everyone should be aware that upon the death of a person, all of his or her assets will be frozen before being reliquidated for division.

“Muslims, in particular, have many alternatives to managing wealth, such as through wills, ‘faraid’ (division of wealth according to Islamic law), alms, ‘hibah’ and ‘waqaf’ (endowments).”

EPF contributor Annie Toh, 48, said in addition to procrastination, the low number of nominees could be because EPF contributors did not seriously think of the fact that death could occur at any time.

Toh, who is married with no children, chose to nominate her sister, who is single.

“I’m worried that if something happens to me one day, my sister would be alone, and there would be no one to care for her. So, I chose her as my beneficiary to ensure she has enough money when she becomes old.”

She said she first discussed the matter with her husband, and got his consent on the decision.

For non-Muslims, the nominee is the sole beneficiary of the deceased EPF member’s savings.

Another EPF contributor, Eddie Idris, 50, who is single, chose as-Salihin Trustee Bhd to manage his assets after his death.

“The asset management company will execute my last will when I die. This includes managing my EPF savings.”

Zalinda Ahmad, 37, a mother of three, said she updated her EPF nomination form each time she got a new child.

“I don’t want my sons to have difficulty claiming the money if something happens to me unexpectedly.” – Bernama, December 26, 2017.