27/09/2023 03:44 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 (Bernama) -- The government should introduce tax relief for financial planning fees in Budget 2024, which could help boost knowledge and awareness of financial sustainability among Malaysians.

Such incentives will support the government's aim to make sure that everybody is financially prepared for the future, said Idham Idris, Wealth Vantage Advisory Sdn Bhd's director of Corporate Treasury Investment Services.

He said this during a media briefing on the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia's Budget 2024 wishlist here today. 

Idham said the move is also crucial to ensure that Malaysians seek the right and qualified financial advisors based on their needs, covering financial management aspects such as retirement, savings, debt settling and wealth goals, therefore avoiding being scammed.  

Alpine Advisory Sdn Bhd director, Rozanna Rashid concurred with the recommendation, saying that this would address the lack of financial management, especially among the B40 and M40 income groups.

She believes that financial literacy should start at an early stage, as SPM certificate holders and below currently form more than half of the workforce. 

Rozanna said companies also should look at ways to introduce financial literacy programmes to help their workers strengthen their financial positions.

UNO Advisers Sdn Bhd chief executive officer, Ian Wong said focusing on literacy in risk management is also important so that Malaysians are aware of their needs, noting that many are insured inappropriately. 

“So, it could be (made) compulsory or mandatory that whenever you buy a policy, you are given other options that are cheaper than the ones you can see.

“I think it's important for them to understand that medical insurance is a risk management tool, and see how they should use it and how to think about it as a cost,” he said.

Wong added that the tax relief on financial fees would also encourage the active participation of advisors, thus creating more jobs.

He said there are 1,500-2,000 licensed financial planners in Malaysia, but the number of those actually practising and active is low.




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