Employees Provident Fund of Malaysia Declares Record Dividend Payout of RM57.8 Billion in 2023

Malaysia's Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has declared its highest-ever dividend payout of RM57.8 billion for the year 2023. The payout consists of a 5.5 per cent dividend for members under the conventional savings account and 5.4 per cent for members under the syariah savings account. EPF's chief executive officer, Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn, highlighted that the real dividend, after accounting for inflation, stands at 2.89 per cent for conventional savings account members and 2.51 per cent for syariah account members.

As of the end of 2023, EPF boasts 8.5 million active members, with 6.7 million under the conventional savings account and the remainder under the syariah savings account. Despite challenges, including a 19% writedown in the value of its stake in Heimstaden Bostad AB in the fourth quarter, EPF's total investment income saw a significant increase of 29 per cent from RM51.9 billion in 2022 to close to RM67 billion in 2023.

EPF's investment strategy saw 62 per cent of its funds invested domestically, generating RM31.7 billion or 47 per cent of the total investment income. Meanwhile, global assets, constituting 38 per cent of EPF's total investment, contributed RM35.3 billion or 53 per cent of the total investment income. The equity asset class emerged as the highest contributor, constituting 59 per cent of the fund's investment income, with public equity accounting for RM34.3 billion and private equity for RM5.1 billion.

Despite the success in investment returns, EPF remains focused on addressing retirement coverage issues among Malaysians. Currently, only 60 per cent of Malaysians have retirement coverage, which is lower than the global average of 68 per cent. Zulqarnain emphasized the importance of initiatives to help members build future income security, such as promoting voluntary contributions and allowing members to use part of their funds to purchase life and critical illness insurance.

EPF plans to continue supporting initiatives aimed at strengthening members' retirement income to ensure they achieve a dignified retirement. The number of members making voluntary contributions increased by 17 per cent in 2023 compared to the previous year, indicating a growing awareness and engagement among members in securing their financial future.

Source: The Business Times