Presidential candidate of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC) coalition, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, has announced his intention to propose an amendment to the Maldives Pension Act.
This amendment would permit the withdrawal of pension funds for purposes such as constructing houses, initiating new businesses, and pursuing education.
While campaigning for the second round of the presidential election in Alif Dhaalu atoll Mahibadhoo, Dr. Muizzu said the State Pension Fund currently has MVR 20 billion. He said that while an additional MVR 100 Million is accumulated into the fund as profits each year, the current Pension Act does not allow the people to make the best use of these funds.
Pension funds can currently be used to secure loans towards the purchase of an apartment and for Hajj pilgrimage.
Dr. Muizzu said that individuals receive a certain amount of money from the Pension Fund upon mandatory retirement at 65 years of age or when they choose to voluntarily retire at 55 years. He said that these funds, received at the last minute after more than 30 years of service, do not provide much benefits for retirees which is why the Pension Act requires amendments.
Dr. Muizzu said, "With the assistance of the parliament, I will propose to amend the Pension Act to allow for the withdrawal of some of the funds accumulated by the individual, for the purpose of building a home, or sending children abroad for higher studies or as investment to start a new business."
Dr. Muizzu said that, rather than requiring individuals to wait for 30 or 40 years to access the funds in the Pension Fund, he will work to ensure that people can use a portion of the funds after a minimum of 10 years of service.
Dr. Muizzu said the Pension Fund should be sustained while allowing the utilization of the money for additional investments.