The Malaysia Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is one of the world’s oldest provident funds. Established in 1951, it helps the Malaysian workforce to save for their retirement in accordance to the Employees Provident Fund Act 1991. Today, it has extended its mandate to include aiding national infrastructural development. As of December 2021, it had 15.21 million members.
Malaysia Employees Provident Fund has gender-balanced representation among its senior leadership roles where 42.5% of members are women. Further, it has an engagement investing policy on ESG topics and discloses its ESG engagement in 2020.
In terms of its approach to senior leadership accountability, there is no evidence that the pension fund assigns responsibility for sustainability to the group’s highest governing body and that links the remuneration of its executive or management teams to sustainability performance criteria. Furthermore, it could disclose a public commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment and the actions taken to address any pay gaps. In terms of female representation in leadership positions, women are underrepresented on the board of directors where only 14.18% of board members are women. Additionally, Malaysia Employees Provident Fund has an opportunity to publish case studies describing where it has engaged successfully and unsuccessfully with clients/investees on sustainability themes and impact topics.
Malaysia Employees Provident Fund could disclose a target to reach net-zero financed emissions by 2050 and that it collectively engages with companies to which it provides financial services on the topic of alignment with the Paris Agreement. Moreover, it has an opportunity to require companies to which it provides financial services to have a strategy aligned with the Paris Agreement. Further, there is no evidence that it discloses its financing activities devoted to climate and nature regenerative solutions. The pension fund can enhance its performance by committing to minimising its negative impacts on biodiversity. Additionally, no evidence was found regarding its approach to fossil fuels that spans across the fossil fuel value chain, such as the amount or share of finance it directs towards fuels or its stance on financing companies with new fossil fuel projects.
Malaysia Employees Provident Fund could publish publicly available policy statements committing it to respect human rights, the ILO core labour rights, and the health and safety of workers. It has also an opportunity to describe a comprehensive process for identifying its human rights risks and impacts across all its activities, especially its financing activities. In relation to diversity and inclusion, it could disclose the proportion of its total direct operations workforce for each employee category by age group. To provide transparency on financial inclusivity, Malaysia Employees Provident Fund has an opportunity to disclose the amount of finance directed towards women-owned businesses, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), or low-income developing countries. To conclude, there is no evidence that it has one or more channels/mechanisms accessible to all workers, external individuals, and communities to raise human rights complaints or concerns.