To make it easier to diversify retirement savings, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has launched its i-Invest platform which allows its members to invest in unit trust funds with their EPF savings. Apart from giving EPF members greater convenience, the investments can be made at nearly zero cost.
EPF CEO, Tunku Alizakri Alias said “To ensure they are as informed as possible, i-Invest contains tools to obtain and compare relevant information, and enables the right selection of unit trust funds that best suit our members’ savings goals. We are also proud as we believe the EPF is the first in the world to directly link members’ retirement funds to online investment services.”
With the i-Invest platform, members can invest with a sales charge ranging from 0% to a maximum of 0.5% of the transaction amount. As a comparison, offline and traditional transactions through agents are usually charged at 3%.
As usual, the same conditions are also applied under the Members Investment Scheme. Members may transfer from their EPF Account 1 up to 30% of the amount in excess of Basic Savings, to be invested in the qualified funds. The required Basic Savings amount will increase depending on age (e.g. age 25: RM18,000, age 35: RM35,000, age 40: RM86,000, age 45: RM125,000, age 50: RM175,000).
Below is a sample eligibility calculation from EPF’s website:
For members aged 55 and above, they can also use i-Invest using Akaun 55 or Akaun Emas through i-Akaun as a mode of withdrawal. It is also subject to a minimum balance of RM1,000 in their account.
To find a fund to invest, the platform offers a tool where you can search based on category, geographical sector, volatility rating and consistent return rating. You also get the option to filter between Shariah only and conventional funds. EPF also advises members who are not financially literate to seek professional advice.
According to EPF, they have strict guidelines for Fund Management Institutions (FMI) in order to safeguard the integrity of the scheme and the interest of participating members. They added that a total of 389 funds from various categories, namely equity, mixed assets, bond, money market and property trust, were approved under the EPF Members Investment Scheme for the period of 2019/2020.
The i-Invest platform is now available and you can get started by logging in to your i-Akaun, then click on the “Investment” tab at the top.