Malaysia's Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Grab Malaysia to encourage its ride-hailing driver-partners to save for their retirement.

This is through Caruman Sukarela Insentif Persaraan (i-Saraan), a voluntary retirement savings programme with the EPF.

EPF CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said: "By contributing to the scheme, Grab driver-partners can enjoy the same benefits as an EPF member, such as annual dividends on their retirement savings, tax relief, death benefit, and access to our Retirement Advisory Service at no cost."

On top of annual dividends and benefits, the government will top up an additional 15% of annual contributions to a maximum of RM250 per year until 2022 for members below age 55.

Grab will also be providing a contribution of 5% on the amount contributed by selected driver-partners subject to a maximum of RM80 a year, effective 16 August 2018.

Grab Malaysia country head, Sean Goh said, "Based on a survey with our driver-partners, 75% have expressed interest to save for their retirement specifically through this collaboration. We therefore want to encourage them to take charge and be in the driver’s seat of their future financial security."

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i-Saraan, previously known as the 1Malaysia Retirement Savings Scheme (SP1M), is designed to allow individuals who are self-employed or those who receive no regular monthly income, such as taxi drivers, petty traders, farmers, freelancers, as well as those working in the gig economy, to save for their retirement while enjoying the same benefits as EPF members.

Statistics by the Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis (ILMIA) revealed that out of 22 million of Malaysia’s working population, a total of 7.1 million are actively contributing to the EPF and 1.7 million are covered by the public pension scheme.

The remaining 13.2 million comprise individuals who are self-employed or freelancers and outside the labour force not covered by any formal social protection programme in the country.

Photo / Official EPF website