Are you thinking about withdrawing money from your EPF Account 1?

Times are hard and many people are contemplating this.
Tough times for many.
In case you don't know, the EPF withdrawal scheme is actually called i-Sinar.

It's definitely confusing to read or hear news from all sorts of different sources about i-Sinar so to make things clear, our friends from Multiply have made it easy for you by putting together all the information you need in one convenient article.

Read on to understand more about i-Sinar.

Who can use i-Sinar?

Who can apply?

EPF has identified two categories of account holders who can withdraw under i-Sinar.

Category 1Category 2
Formal workers, self-employed workers, gig workers, those who have lost their jobs or been given unpaid leave and housewives who:
  • haven’t contributed to EPF for at least 2 months back-to-back when applying for i-Sinar;


  • Those who are still working but have taken a pay cut of 30% or more of their base salary at any time after 1 March 2020.
Members who have had a cut of 30% or more in their total income, including base salary and other benefits such as allowances and overtime from 1 March 2020 onwards.

How much can you withdraw?

How much?

There are two withdrawal limits under i-Sinar.
  1. If you have RM100,000 or less in Account 1, you can take out up to RM10,000, but you’ll have to leave at least RM100 in your account.
  2. If you have more than RM100,000 in Account 1, you can withdraw up to 10% or RM60,000, whichever is lower.

Depending on the amount you take out, i-Sinar payments will be made in instalments over six months. For accounts with RM100,000 or less, you can get a maximum of RM5,000 in the first month.
For accounts with more than RM100,000, you can get up to RM10,000 in the first month.

How do you apply?

Category 1Category 2
  • You can apply online at from 21 Dec 2020.
  • You don’t need to provide any documents.
  • Approval will be automatic based on
  • You can apply online at from 11 Jan 2020.
  • You’ll need to provide:
    • Salary slips before and after your paycut; and
    • A notice from your employer on the suspension or reduction of allowances and/or overtime claims. (If you can’t provide these documents, you can submit other relevant documents like your bank statements or a letter from your employer).
  • EPF will let you know the results of your application within 2-3 weeks of your application.

When can you get i-Sinar payments?

Category 1Category 2
  • Starting from the middle of January 2021.
  • After your application is approved, payment will made by the end of the following month.

Think carefully before you withdraw!

EPF said earlier that if you take out savings from your Account 1 under i-Sinar, you’ll have to put it back later.

EPF has not provided details on how and when the money should be replaced or what happens if you can't or don't put it back.

Always keep in mind that your EPF savings are meant for your retirement.
Money meant to be used later.
Think carefully about withdrawing.

If you really need some financial help, one option could be for you to take out the minimum amount you’d need to cover your monthly expenses.

This way, you’ll minimise the amount of money you’ll have to put back later.

Speak to the experts

EPF has also reminded account holders that they should talk to its Retirement Advisory Services and/or the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) to decide how much money they should take out under i-Sinar.

Get the experts to helpSince your EPF savings are for you to live on when you retire, you’ll need to balance between taking out what you need now and what you need in the future.

Also remember, you’ll have to replace all of the money you withdraw. If you’ve lost your job or are getting less income, it may be hard for you to plan for putting your savings back.

So, you have to be careful about the amount you take out to avoid problems later.

And no matter what your situation is, it’s always good to make a budget and follow it, to make sure you use your money wisely.

You can also read Multiply's guide to learn more about retirement planning.