i-Lestari financial initiative: How to withdraw RM500 from your EPF Account 2

*This article was updated on 10 May 2020.
To help ease the rakyat’s financial burden during the COVID-19 outbreak, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) members can now withdraw a maximum of RM500 per month from their second account for a period of 12 months.

© iMoney

As announced by our Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, EPF members can apply for the i-Lestari Account 2 Withdrawal Scheme beginning 1 April 2020.
According to a media update, as of May 8 2020, 3.5 million i-Lestari applications have been approved, involving RM1.66 billion worth of withdrawals to be disbursed in May 2020. Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said that applicants can expect the monies to be credited into their bank accounts from May 4 to 18.

Given that many of us may need a little extra cash to make it through the month, here’s how to go about withdrawing from your EPF account 2 via the i-Lestari programme:

How to apply online for i-Lestari withdrawal

On April 14 2020, EPF launched a dedicated website specifically for withdrawals under the i-Lestari programme. Now EPF members can easily apply for the i-Lestari withdrawals via ilestari.kwsp.gov.my.

Members can also check their application status using this new facility. Previously, those who wanted to apply had to go through the EPF website which caused confusion as many members have not activated their online i-Akaun and were required to email in their forms.

All you need to do here is log in to the official EPF website or use the EPF i-Akaun app. Navigate to the withdrawals page (which should be near the top right corner of the website). From there, select “new application” and then i-Lestari when asked for what type of withdrawal you want to make.

kwsp.gov.my

From there, you will be asked to specify how much you want to withdraw each month (to a maximum of RM500), and which bank account will receive the funds.

Take note you cannot open a new online account with the EPF if you don’t already have one during the Movement Control Order (MCO). This is because the fund has closed all it’s branch offices and customer kiosks, preventing you from applying for an online registration ID.

If you do not have an online account, it will be much easier for you to go to ilestari.kwsp.gov.my and apply directly there.

READ: BNM’s 6-month loan moratorium: What is it and how can it help you?

How to apply for i-Lestari via email

You will need access to a printer and scanner if you want to register through email. This is because you will need to download the application form to be filled in. Once you have your necessary details in the form, scan and email it to ilestarimohon@epf.gov.my.

How to apply for i-Lestari via post

You can also mail your registration form to the EPF directly through the post. Pos Malaysia services are operational during the MCO, so all you need to do is send the form to:

Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja
Karung Berkunci No 220, Jalan Sultan
46720, Petaling Jaya.

Writing ‘Attention to: i-Lestari’ on the envelope is also recommended.

Note that non-Malaysians or foreigners who are still EPF members may only apply for the i-Lestari programme by post only.

MORE: How to utilize EPF withdrawal money to purchase a house?

How does i-Lestari work?

Do take note that withdrawals will only actually begin in May and not in April when registrations open – The i-Lestari withdrawals will be credited to your registered bank account.

© Wang Tom/ 123RF

You do not have to submit a new application to withdraw funds each month. Instead, all registrations will automatically withdraw their desired amount every month from May 2020 until May 2021.

Registrations will also remain open until May 2021. However, those you submit their forms late will only see their withdrawals take effect in the following month.

Additionally, it will not be backdated; so if you register for i-Lestari in June 2020, you will withdraw your EPF savings from July 2020 until May 2021.

Bear in mind that the approved withdrawal amount is subject to the total amount of savings that you have in your Account 2. If the remaining balance is lower than your applied amount, you will receive a reduced amount in your subsequent withdrawals. Once your application is approved, the applied monthly withdrawal amount will be fixed and you can’t change the amount halfway.

Should you withdraw from your EPF Account 2?

We cannot really say whether you should or should not take advantage of this offer.

If your finances are doing alright, then it’s perfectly acceptable to decline the i-Lestari withdrawal. However, if you are really struggling during these difficult times, then do not feel bad for having to reduce your contribution and start withdrawing money.

After all, the important thing is to take care of yourself. Whether it’s about putting food on the table tomorrow or having a strong retirement fund.

Take stock of your finances and figure out just how much you really need to get through these uncertain times. If you’re having trouble, don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family as well.

Read this next: Must you declare your rental income to LHDN & what are the tax incentives available for landlords?

This article was repurposed from “How To Withdraw RM500 From Your EPF Account 2 Under i-Lestari” on iMoney.com.my | Edited by Reena Kaur Bhatt

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