MEF calls for extended social security coverage for retirees

The Malaysian Employers Federation wants more support for employees in the private sector to manage rising healthcare costs during retirement.
By: | May 26, 2023

The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has urged the Social Security Organisation (Perkeso) to extend its coverage to include retirees in a bid to address the gap in medical insurance for employees in the private sector. Currently, when these employees retire at the age of 60, they lose the medical insurance coverage provided by their employers, and Perkeso’s coverage also ceases, leaving them without essential support.

Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman, President of the MEF, highlighted the disparity between employees in the private and public sectors, with the latter continuing to enjoy medical benefits even after retirement. The existing old-age assistance programmes have limited coverage and benefits, highlighting the need for increased spending on welfare and health programmes. Approximately 200,000 private sector employees retire each year, and while they may not require support during their active years, assistance becomes crucial after retirement.

Dr Syed Hussain called on Perkeso to study the issue and find ways to cover employees after retirement. The government, he suggested, could subsidise coverage expenses if there are additional costs for Perkeso contributors. Given Malaysia’s ageing population, ensuring coverage for retirees becomes even more critical as healthcare and long-term care spending are expected to rise.

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“Malaysia should practice the ‘once in always in’ and ‘contribute now and benefit later’ to ensure everyone enjoys the fruits of their contribution during their younger days. There are some good models that Perkeso can emulate, such as the German and Japanese models, where help is available for retirees who need it,” he concluded, reported New Straits Times.