KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will introduce a new category of withdrawals to cover fertility treatment like in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures, according to Budget 2020.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng also announced during the tabling of the federal government budget that the income tax relief of up to RM6,000 given on expenses incurred for medical treatment of serious illnesses will be expanded to include expenses incurred on fertility treatment.
“Today, the fertility rate in Malaysia has fallen alarmingly from 4.9 children per woman in the 1970s to 1.9 children per woman, which is below replacement level.
“Therefore, to assist couples seeking fertility treatment, EPF will introduce a new category of withdrawals, allowing for fertility treatment such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedure,” Lim said today.
Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy CEO Azrul Mohd Khalib predicted that the retirement fund’s fertility incentive would not be widely used.
“I don’t really understand the need for this incentive which targets the M40 (middle 40 per cent) group. What is really needed are investments in sexual reproductive health to educate and equip our young men and women with the skills to make informed decisions and choices so that there can be fewer unwanted pregnancies.
“We need to increase the effectiveness and coverage of maternal and child services to ensure that mothers survive pregnancy and are able to receive post-natal care,” Azrul said in a statement.