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SSPN-i, An Ideal Education Savings

Last update: 04/07/2012
By Ali Imran Mohd Noordin

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 (Bernama) -- Decades ago, getting a scholarship for further studies was much easier owing to lesser competition. But since 2007, no less than 430,000 students have taken the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination each year; an exam that has witnessed improvement in the results of over 50 per cent candidates.

Those students without sufficient funds, however, will have to resort to ask for study loans to fulfill their dream of setting foot among the coveted ranks. Various study loans are offered in the market by financial institutions, each with its own benefits and shortcomings.

Yet, the National High Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) established by the government came forth to assist the underprivileged to obtain funds and gain a university education.

The government had set up the PTPTN some 13 years ago to provide educational loans to students pursuing their studies in the local institutions of higher learning.

In turn, the PTPTN designed the SSPN or National Education Savings Scheme to enable parents to save in order to qualify their children for the study loan.

EARLY EFFORT

Launched in 2004, SSPN became the mandatory requirement for PTPTN applications in 2008. However, this was put on hold a year later as PTPTN improvised its administrative system for the benefit of the depositors.

As of 31 May 2012, there are 1,285,256 SSPN-i account holders with deposits of RM 620.02 million.

SSPN was later changed to 'SSPN-i' coupled with the introduction of a new logo and the implementation of the 'T+1' (Transaction + one day) concept.

PTPTN Chief Executive Agos Cholan said that the Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia has verified that SSPN-i is syariah-compliant based on the 'Wakalah Bil Istithmar' contract, since Nov 30th.

"This means, by saving with SSPN-I, depositors have legally asked the PTPTN to manage their savings based on the 'on behalf for investment purposes contract," he said.

Agos said the new logo is in line with this concept.

"Combination of the coin and book signify the savings for high education and the addition of 'i' after SSPN is to denote the Islamic in this syariah-based savings," he said.

Under the T+1 concept, an account with SSPN can be opened in one day with its agents as compared to 14 days previously.

The depositors can check their account one day after the transaction performede via the PTPTN website.

"We encourage the public to open SSPN-I account through Maybank or Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad (BIMB) to facilitate education funding," explained Agos.

BONANZA SAVINGS

Till December this year, depositors will have the chance to win cash prizes of up to RM100,000 through the 'Bonanza Savings' promotion held with the cooperation of BIMB.

To be eligible, the depositor needs to open an account or top-up his savings at the minimum of RM100 and retain that amount within 30 days of the deadline of the draw series.

In each series, there will be 22 winners for the cash prize of RM1,000, RM 10,000 and RM100,000.

The first series began last June 23 and ends Sept 22 this year. The second series begins Sept 23 until Dec 23, 2012.

The draw for the first series will be made on Oct 1, while that for the second series on 31st Dec 2012.

Further information is available at www.ptptn.gov.my.

SAVINGS FOR ALL

SSPN certainly appeals to Malaysians who are aware of its benefits.

Entrepreneur Mohd Suhaimy Abu Bakar via his blog www.mohdsuhaimy.com, said that despite SSPN's dividends not being as high as those of other savings schemes, it acts as 'Plan B' for the education fund of his children.

Mohd Suhaimy who opened SSPN accounts for his children in 2008 counted the ease of liquidation, tax rebates up to RM3,000 and insurance coverage of RM50,000 for each of the depositors, among the chief benefits.

SSPN savings are guaranteed by the government, have on-line checking facilities and present an opportunity to obtain a RM10,000 grant for university candidates of poor families.

-- BERNAMA