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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

(The Star) EPF: More than half of Simpanan Shariah fund taken up

KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) says a total of RM59.03bil of the initial RM100bil fund allocated for Simpanan Shariah 2017 have been taken up and 635,037 members have switched to Simpanan Shariah, as at Dec 23, 2016.
“We have anticipated that at least half of the initial RM100bil fund will be taken up and we are truly encouraged by the latest statistics.
“For Simpanan Shariah 2018, we have allocated RM50bil as further injection,” EPF chief executive officer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said in a statement yesterday.
“We are on a good track of growing our investment in Shariah assets.
“About 45% of EPF’s total investment assets are already syariah compliant and we expect to grow these assets by at least RM25bil a year on average,” he added.
Simpanan Shariah was introduced in August 2016 as an option for members who wish to convert their current conventional EPF savings to one that is managed and invested in accordance with the syariah principles.
Members who wish to switch to Simpanan Shariah 2018 may do so before Dec 24 this year.
Eventually, it was reported that EPF expected its Islamic fund to account for a 40% plus uptake by “members regardless of religion, race and nationality”.
The scheme was introduced following a survey of its members, of whom 71% agreed with the launching of a syariah-compliant retirement offering.
Unlike the conventional account, which has a guaranteed dividend of 2.5% per year, Simpanan Shariah does not have a guaranteed dividend.
The dividend rates will be based on the portfolio performance of syariah-compliant investments.
According to the EPF, the variance in the overall returns between the conventional account and Simpanan Shariah is expected to be about 0.5% or 50 basis points over a 20 to 30-year investment horizon.

A syariah fund is known to perform well in a volatile economy.