Sunday, May 18, 2014

Penyalahgunaan perkataan tentatif

This posting has not much to do with actuarial science or actuarial finance.  Ever since I left the profession I have been keeping in touch with professionals, students and graduates of the field of actuarial science. 

Recently, I was faced with an issue that I have been taking up while I was at the university, which is the use of the phrase "tentatif program" by students and staff of the university.  Apparently, the phrase "tentatif program" is very widely used by those who are organizing programs, to mean the details of the program, giving times of starting of each activity.

I stumble onto a blog that also discusses this issue:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Malaysia's pension reform may boost Islamic funds

Or This Link
The pension industry in Malaysia is growing very rapidly. The challenge is to make sure all transactions meet shariah requirements.

As stated in the following article, EPF investments do not strictly follow shariah guidelines. What would be the position of Muslim members' fund?

Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:39pm IST

* Malaysia liberalising pension market

* Govt sees 73 bln ringgit into private pensions by 2020

* Eight fund managers approved to offer products

* Product limit raised if it includes Islamic offerings

By Bernardo Vizcaino

SYDNEY, July 23 (Reuters) - Malaysians will have more room to allocate part of their retirement contributions to Islamic investments under sweeping government reforms to the pension system.

At present, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) receives public pension contributions and invests the money. Some of that investment is in sharia-compliant areas such as sukuk and halal stocks, but contributors have limited scope to ensure the money is being used that way. A maximum 20 percent of savings can be placed through the EPF into a single mutual fund.

Under the new, voluntary Private Retirement Scheme (PRS), which will not replace the EPF but supplement it, contributors will be able to allocate money to a wide range of products offered by private-sector fund management firms. This will allow them, if they choose, to target sharia-compliant investment - potentially increasing the amount of money going into Islamic instruments.

The scheme's governing body which will oversee how the fund managers operate, the Private Pension Administrator (PPA), was officially launched last week.

"PRS will contribute towards the growth of Islamic fund products," Zakie Ahmad Shariff, board member of the PPA and chief executive of the Federation of Investment Managers Malaysia, told Reuters.

The initial rollout of 30 PRS products will include six Islamic funds, he added.

"Early adopters will have much to gain - especially for the Islamic players," said Mahadzir Ahmad, a wealth management consultant and an instructor at the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia.


As of March 31 the EPF managed assets worth 488.5 billion ringgit ($154 billion), according to company data. That is larger than the 435.36 billion ringgit of assets under management in Malaysia's entire fund management industry, according to securities commission data.

At least partly because of PRS, Malaysia's private pension industry is expected to grow to 73 billion ringgit by 2020 from effectively zero now, according to a report by the government's Economic Transformation Programme. The securities commission has a more modest but still sizeable estimate; in April last year, it said: "Over the next ten years, it is projected that assets under management in the private retirement scheme industry will grow to 30.9 billion ringgit."

Sharia-compliant funds have on average held 10.6 percent of total assets under management in Malaysian retail products over the last two years, according to Reuters calculations based on securities commission data.

If this ratio is maintained under the PRS scheme, Islamic funds could theoretically see inflows of 3.3 billion to 7.7 billion ringgit.

All eight of the approved PRS fund managers already have sharia-compliant retail products. They include some of the country's most established firms such as CIMB-Principal, AmInvestment and Public Mutual.

Firms will begin offering conventional products first but sharia-compliant products will soon follow, said Nancy Chow, director of marketing and strategic product development at AmIslamic Funds Management. AmInvestment plans to have an Islamic PRS, she said.

Hwang Investment Management will include sharia-compliant products in its PRS range, Steve Lim, chief product officer at Hwang Investment Management, said in a statement. "We foresee our investment in PRS to break even after three years."


Under PRS, fund managers will be required to offer a minimum of three "core" products catering to different investor risk profiles. A maximum of seven products can be launched under the scheme by a single PRS provider, but if it intends to offer both conventional and sharia-compliant options, it can offer up to 10, according to securities commission guidelines.

This could encourage fund managers to launch Islamic products to maximise their access to PRS money. The initial products will be available from September, the securities commission said.

Guidelines also allow for the outsourcing of the fund management function, which could open the door for boutique firms to tap into the sector without the need for established sales channels.

In order to encourage take-up in the PRS scheme, the government is offering incentives such as personal tax relief, tax deductions for employers on their contributions to the scheme, and tax exemption on income received by PRS fund management firms.

Some details of how the PRS scheme will work, and whether it will impact Malaysia's current retirement age of 55 years, are not clear, Ahmad said. "These details are not forthcoming yet."

The personal tax relief of up to 3,000 ringgit may need to be increased to make it enticing to higher income earners, he added. Without a significant tax benefit, "the take-up might not be as great." (Editing by Andrew Torchia)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Social Security Seminar

Faculty of Science and Technology USIM is proud to be associated with this seminar organized jointly by Actuarial Partners, UiTM, USIM and SOCSO.

The presentations by speakers can be obtained from the website

Islamic Mega Bank

Asian Finance Bank likely target as Islamic mega lender, say sources An interesting development in the Islamic Finance area. This should be followed closely by those in actuarial science field and financial risk management students.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fomca: Don’t use EPF money for public housing loans

I agree with FOMCA on this issue and hope FOMCA will continue to fight for the welfare of workers in Malaysia who will eventually retire and want to benefit from their savings in the EPF. However if the government can ensure a high return on this investment, say 7% or more, there is no reason why they should not use the fund to benefit the low income earners in Malaysia.

Also, since the government has the power to decide on the mechanism of funding the low cost housing project, they should ensure that the funding is done in a syariah compliant manner. This will then benefit the muslim contributors who will be able to have a peace of mind when using the dividends declared for their funds.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Food Myths

I got this from my son Faeez and would like to share it with my readers. I must caution you that this has nothing to do with actuarial science or finance.

Every other week, new research claims one food is better than another, or that some ingredient yields incredible new health benefits. Couple that with a few old wives' tales passed down from your parents, and each time you fire up your stove or sit down to eat a healthy meal, it can be difficult separating food fact from fiction. We talked to a group of nutritionists and asked them to share the food myths they find most irritating and explain why people cling to them. Here's what they said.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pension Funding Deficit Reaches 50-Year High — Should You Be Worried?

In light of the recent Malaysian 2012 Budget, this article is relevant not only for consideration of private pension planners but also to the Malaysian Government Pension Department (Bahagian Pasca Perkhidmatan JPA). Defined Benefit plans give pensioners guarantees of income during retirement until death but the ability to pay depends on mortality and investment return.

The market swoon in last month didn’t just hurt your portfolio, it also clobbered corporate pensions. The total deficit of U.S. pension liabilities increased by $134 billion to $512 billion as of September 30, according to worldwide HR consulting firm Mercer. The reported deficit compares pension liabilities to assets in pension trusts for defined benefit retirement plans sponsored by S&P 1500 companies. The increase in the deficit results from a combination of stock market declines and decreases in yields on high-quality corporate bonds during the month. (Pension liabilities rise when interest rates fall, due to reduced expectations for future investment earnings).

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