Malaysian lawmakers have passed an amendment to pension legislation allowing men to voluntarily transfer their contributions to the Employers Provident Fund (EPF) to their wives’ accounts.
The move, which is part of the government’s plan to improve the livelihood of housewives, will allow the EPF to stop employers from leaving the country until they have settled all outstanding dues to the fund.
The amendment was passed in the Malaysian parliament on December 4, according to the parliamentary website.
The EPF, Malaysia’s largest pension fund, manages retirement savings of private sector employees and the self-employed.
Contributions are compulsory for employers and employees. Employees currently contribute 11% of their salaries and their employers contribute 13%.
Before last year, housewives who have never been employed outside the home could not contribute to the fund.
In August 2018, the government introduced a scheme where housewives from low income households can contribute any amount to the EPF.
The government will match their contributions up to certain annual limits. The limit in 2018 was 200 ringgit (US$47.93) and it was increased to 480 ringgit this year.
The EPF had 886.45 billion ringgit of assets under management as of end-June 2019.