A WAIT-and-see attitude and lack of awareness are two reasons many Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors have yet to name their beneficiaries.
Congress of Unions of Employees in the Civil Service (Cuepacs) Kedah branch chairman Mohd Fadzil Md Isa said many also mistakenly believe that their relatives would be able to easily file a claim for their savings in the event of the their death.
“Many of them are thinking, let them figure it out for themselves when I pass away.
“What they do not know is that they are only making it difficult for their family members to make a claimed. Without nomination, the process will take longer,” he told Bernama.
Fadzil said marital status was another factor for delay in nominating a beneficiary.
“The nomination is felt to be less significant when one is still single and has few responsibilities. However, once you are married, you will be more occupied and will hardly have time to go to the EPF office. So, this matter will drag on until something happens to the contributor,” he said.
In fact, Fadzil said the notion that the deceased’s EPF savings would be distributed through “faraid” (division of wealth according to Islamic law) must also change.
“As Muslims, we are encouraged to follow the faraid system in the division of assets, including the EPF contributions, in the event of death. The beneficiary acts as ‘wasi’ (executor) or administrator who is responsible for distributing the savings of the deceased to other eligible beneficiaries.
“In short, the EPF nomination is the best way to facilitate the claim process.
“When the beneficiary is nominated, all parties are aware of who is entitled to the money. So, there is no need to waste time searching for the beneficiary before the savings are distributed according to the faraid system,” he said.
Meanwhile, quantity surveyor Nur Atiqah Che Hassan, 24, said she had not nominated a beneficiary because she did not understand the process and did not know how to go about it.
“Maybe there is not (enough) publicity on the matter. I am the only one in the family working in the private sector and other family members are civil servants who would receive a pension.
“Despite being a contributor since 2015, I have not nominated a beneficiary until now. I will probably do so later. However, I have no idea when I will do it,” she said.
Mohd Zulkarnain Isa, 37, said he only made the nomination after the arrival of his first child about three years ago.
The maintenance engineer said he had never thought of doing it before because he did not think it was important.
“Everything changed when my first child was born. There was concern for my son and wife should something happen to me. After taking advice from an EPF officer, I immediately made the nomination as a guarantee for my family and their future,” he said.
Shaidah Sahir, 43, said she never had time to do it until October.
“After working and contributing for 10 years, I eventually made the nomination after my colleagues convinced me how important it was to prevent complications in the distribution of my savings in the event of death,” she said.
Shaidah said although she had heard of her colleagues facing difficulties in claiming EPF savings after a relative’s death, it had no effect on her.
“I only thought about it when I thought about the fate of my child should I die. Luckily, it is not too late, and in fact, the process was not that complicated,” she said.
For Mohd Fikri Abu Hassan, the difficulty he experienced claiming his mother’s savings was an eye-opener.
“It’s a long and tedious process. After the experience, I went straight to make the EPF nomination as I do not want my wife or son to go thorough the same thing,” he said. – Bernama, December 28, 2017.