ALOR STAR, Dec 26 – The wait-and-see attitude and lack of awareness on the importance of nominating a beneficiary are among the reasons many Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors have not registered for the nomination.
Congress of Unions of Employees in the Civil Service (Cuepacs) Kedah branch chairman Mohd Fadzil Md Isa said having the thought that the contributors’ family members or beneficiaries could make own claims after their death had been one of the biggest mistakes ever committed by them.
“Many of them are adopting the ‘let-them-figure-it-out-on-their-own’ concept for their family members to settle the claim (process) at the EPF office, once they have passed away. What they do not know is that they are only making it difficult for family members to expedite the claims. Without the nomination, the process will take longer,” he told Bernama.
Mohd Fadzil said marital status was also among the many factors for the contributors to delay the matter. “The nomination part is felt less significant when one is still single as you have little responsibilities. However, once you are married, you’ll become more occupied and hardly have time to go to the EPF office. So, this matter will drag until something happens to the contributors,” he said.
In fact, Mohd Fadzil said the notion that the distribution of the deceased’s EPF savings would be made through the “faraid” (division of wealth according to Islamic law) and not based on nomination, must also be changed. “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 one of the best measures to facilitate the claim process. When the beneficiaries are nominated, all parties have become aware where or who is entitled to the money. So, there is no need to waste time to search for the beneficiaries before the savings are distributed according to the faraid system,” he said.
As such, Mohd Fadzil recommended all family members to play a role here not to delay the nomination process anymore and share its significance the younger generation. “The concept is similar to taking insurance. You only know the importance when something happens to you or your family members. So, do take it seriously,” he said.
Meanwhile, quantity surveyor Nur Atiqah Che Hassan, 24, said she had not nominated a beneficiary because she did not understand and know how to go about it. “Maybe there is not (enough) exposure on the matter as I am the only one in my family working in the private sector as other family members are civil servants who would receive their pensions.
“Despite being a contributor since 2015, I have not nominated until now and would probably do so later. However, I have no idea when I would do that,” she said. For Mohd Zulkarnain Isa, 37, he said he only made the nomination after getting the first child about three years ago.
The maintenance engineer said he had never thought of doing so before that as he deemed it as something not important. “Everything changed when my first child was born. There was a sense of concern for my son and wife should something happen to me in the future. After taking the advice from an EPF officer, I immediately made the nomination as a guarantee to my family and their future,” he said.
Shaidah Sahir, 43, said she had no time before this and chose to wait and see until last October. “After working and contributing for 10 years, I eventually made the nomination after my colleagues convinced me how important the process was, to prevent any issue involving 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 the EPF savings after the death of the contributors before this, it had no effect on her . “I only thought of it when there were questions about the fate of my child should I die because he could not claim my contribution money. Luckily, it was not too late and in fact, the process was not that complicated,” she said.
For a private worker, Mohd Fikri Abu Hassan, having experienced the difficulty in settling his mother’s claim was really an eye opener. “It’s pretty tedious and the process was very long. After that experience, I went straight to make the EPF nomination as I do not want my wife or son to go thorough the same situation,” he said. — Bernama