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What Happens To Your EPF Savings When You Leave Malaysia?

It will depend on if you have renounced your Malaysian citizenship.


There may come a time when you decide to move abroad in pursuit of a better work opportunity, a lower cost of living or the experience of living overseas. 

Around 1.86 million Malaysians are living abroad, with many of them being professionals in their fields as they pursue more attractive salary packages and job opportunities. 

Professionals moving abroad often have savings in the Employee Provident Fund (EPF), which raises the question of what happens to these savings. 

Keeping Your Malaysian Citizenship Or Permanent Residency 

The EPF is a government-managed fund designed to help members save for their retirement, offering a guaranteed minimum dividend of 2.5% per annum.  

In Malaysia, it is compulsory for workers to contribute a percentage of their monthly salary to the EPF. Upon reaching retirement, workers can withdraw their EPF savings either fully or partially.  

As a working Malaysian, if you decide to move abroad but have not relinquished your citizenship or permanent residency, you can still maintain an EPF account. Furthermore, you can make voluntary contributions to your EPF account, with an annual limit of RM100,000. You will continue to earn dividends on your savings and can withdraw them upon reaching retirement age. 

Migrating To Another Country Permanently 

Currently, Malaysia adheres to a single citizenship policy, which means that citizens can only hold one citizenship at a time. Once you obtain citizenship in another country, your citizenship in Malaysia will be revoked automatically.  

Should you decide to migrate to another country and hold citizenship there, you will need to relinquish your Malaysian citizenship.  

Malaysians who give up their citizenship can apply to withdraw their EPF savings in full amount. Foreign workers who want to leave Malaysia can also request for a withdrawal of their EPF savings. 

Applying For Withdrawal Of EPF Savings  

To withdraw your EPF savings, you will need to prepare the following documents: 

  • EPF Withdrawal Application Form 9K (AHL) 
  • Copy of valid passport clearly displaying the name and passport number 
  • Bank passbook/savings account statement/current account statement/joint account statement for an active account with an EPF panel bank 
  • EPF Form 3 (Revised) for mail submission if thumbprint verification fails 

You may be asked to furnish additional documents under certain circumstances.      

Do note that your documents should be certified by the following authorities: 

Applicants within Malaysia  Applicants abroad 
  • EPF Officer 
  • Malaysia Embassy Officer/ High Commission/ Consulate of Applicant’s Country in Malaysia 
  • Applicant’s employer 
  • Malaysian Embassy 
  • Malaysian High Commission/Consulate 
  • Malaysian Trades Commission 
  • Public Notary 

Source: EPF

After preparing the necessary documents, you can make a submission at the nearest EPF office or by mail to EPF. 

If your application is approved, the full payment will be credited to your active bank account.  

For overseas applicants, the full payment will be made via Foreign Bank Draft in the currency of your choice, provided that the currency is in the list of approved currencies. Otherwise, you will receive the full payment through Foreign Bank Draft in US dollars.  

Withdrawing Your Retirement Savings 

As you leave Malaysia to start a new life abroad for good, you may consider withdrawing all your savings in your EPF account, especially if you do not plan to return to Malaysia. 

However, EPF provides Malaysians with a vital social security protection by helping them save for their retirement, with guaranteed dividends. 

As one of the oldest and largest retirement funds in the world, EPF has consistently delivered annual dividends above 5% for the last decade, even during the pandemic crisis. 

Additionally, EPF members can also nominate their next-of-kin as beneficiaries to receive the savings in their EPF accounts should they pass away. EPF members’ next-of-kin will also be eligible to receive a one-time cash assistance of RM2,500.   

Read Also: Retirement Account, Wellbeing Account, Flexible Account: Guide To Malaysia’s EPF Accounts And Contribution Rates 


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