BPJS Ketenagakerjaan Disburses Rp55bn JHT Claims Each Day

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The state's social security agency for labors and workers (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan) is recorded to have disbursed an average of Rp50billion to Rp55 billion of its retirement program (JHT) funds in the first quarter this year.

"The increasing amount of JHT withdrawals by participants started after the government issued the Labor Ministry's Regulation No.19/2015, and since there was a rise in employee's termination form of work," the agency's director for participatory increase Ilyas Lubis said during a national dialogue with workers unions in Jakarta, May 31, 2016.

Ilyas said the regulation, which was put into effect on July last year, allowed workers to withdraw their retirement savings regardless of how long they have been in the JHT program.

Before the rule was applied, JHT participants had to wait five years and one month before they can withdraw their savings. Now that there is no longer a required membership period, participants are cashing out their funds.

Since November 2015 to March 2016, the BPJS Ketenagakerjaan noted an average of 7,500 withdrawal claims filed each day. It reflects a 266-percent increase compared to the number of claims filed before the rule is applied.

Five percent of the workers that filed the claims went back to work. Oddly, out of 42,041 participants that came back to work after withdrawing their JHT funds, 6,003 returned to their old companies.

"It means that they have spent their life savings, while they could have used it as an emergency fund for their retirement years," Ilyas said.

The withdrawals are mostly filed by workers who are in productive ages with membership periods of 1-5 years and 5-10 years.

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