"It is a lame excuse to state that the global economic slowdown has reduced the profits of the fund” Solomon, Malaysian National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) Secretary-General.
Yeah man what kind of lame excuse is that blaming low returns on the global economic slowdown. The unionists want investment advisers to be changed for performing so poorly. It is unconscionable the EPF took part in all sorts of bailouts that resulted in lower than normal returns for EPF stakeholders who are workers who need the return to be able retire when they are old. If EPF investments does not perform better that this pathetic 4.5%, Malaysian workers may have to work an extra 6 months from their current retirement age of 55.
EPF Returns [Link]
If I were a Malaysian, I too would be outraged. 4.5% is indeed low relative to their historic performance. Malaysia should learn from Singapore on how our CPF is managed - you don't hear our union leaders complaining about the returns CPF gives out. In fact our union leader encourages more Singaporeans to transfer and lock their money in the CPF Special Account so they won't be able to touch it for decades. Given the problems with the low returns on EPF, it looks like Malaysians have plenty to learn from our leaders.
Unions see no reason for low EPF dividends
Maria J.Dass and Humayun Kabir
PETALING JAYA (March 15, 2009): The unusally low dividend of 4.5% expected to be declared by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has incurred the wrath of worker unions in the country.
"EPF is a cash rich entity. There is something wrong if there are no reasonable and acceptable dividends being paid out to workers," said National Union of Bank Employees (Nube) secretary-general J.Solomon.
"This has been going on for years.... where money from EPF have been used to fund government projects and to bail out ailing companies which later rake in huge profits with CEO and managements enjoying fat bonuses of between 20 to 30 months," he said.
Solomon"But what about the poor workers in the private sector whose money were used for these bailouts, what are they getting?" he asked, adding that their civil service counterparts are getting a better deal with Cost of Living Allowances (COLA) and other perks.
"We have also, time and agains, questioned EPF's investment decisions in certain companies. The scrutiny of the EPF board of directors is questionable as the majority of its members are government officers and there are only a few workers' representatives."
A.SivananthanMalaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) executive council member A.Sivananthan said the economic downturn "is not a good enough excuse for paying low dividends because the global downturn only struck in late 2008".
Sivananthan felt a dividend of no less than 5% would be a fair, while Solomon said a dividend of about 8% to 10% would be payable to workers "if all the leakages are plugged."
In IPOH, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha said the public should not speculate on the EPF dividend for 2008 but wait for the official announcement.
"EPF's dividend rate is always higher than the bank rates. The dividend rate may fluctuate due to the domestic market as EPF has invested in a lot of government treasury bills." he told reporters after officiating at a Perak MCA Wanita's presentation of a talk titled "Your fate is written on your face" at the state MCA headquarters here.