SC Liberalises Regulation on Private Retirement Schemes to Enhance Competitiveness of the Industry
The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) today announced liberalisation measures of the Private Retirement Schemes (PRS) to enhance the competitiveness of the industry.
To enhance long-term growth for PRS members, the measures will provide more flexibility in asset allocation for PRS funds, such as allowing conservative funds to invest in foreign markets and for PRS funds to invest in exchange-traded-funds based on physical gold to increase asset diversification into alternative investments.
“The PRS industry offers Malaysians an alternative channel to supplement their retirement saving. These liberalisation measures were adopted after a robust review process undertaken by the SC, in consultation with the industry and Private Pension Administration Malaysia, to encourage PRS members to grow their investments. Meanwhile, PRS also enables its members to access funds to ease their financial burden in times of need,” said the SC Chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar.
Given the longer life expectancy of the Malaysian population, PRS providers are now required to gradually move their members to a less risky fund in accordance with their age and to commensurate with members’ risk tolerance. This will help to reduce the market risk exposure for members who opt for default funds (growth, moderate and conservative) that are matched against their age.
Following Budget 2020, PRS members are now permitted to make pre-retirement withdrawals without incurring tax penalty for healthcare and housing purposes. Members are allowed to make withdrawals for self or immediate family members to cover for 91 types of illnesses, including paying for medical equipment or medication for the approved illnesses. The withdrawal for housing can be used to finance building or purchase of a residential property or reducing a housing loan. Further details on the withdrawal measures can be found on the Private Pension Administrator’s (PPA) website.
PRS is a voluntary long-term savings and investment scheme set up by the SC in 2012 to help Malaysians save for their retirement. There are currently eight PRS providers serving more than 455,000 members nationwide. As at end 2019, the total size of the industry stands at RM3.5 billion.