Should You Invest in SSPN?

Should I invest in SSPN-i (renamed as SSPN1M) for my child’s higher education? What are the returns, pros, and cons?

Updated: Jan 4, 2018

 

What is Skim Simpanan Pendidikan Nasional (SSPN)?

SSPN (National Education Savings Scheme) is a savings scheme for higher education launched in 2004.

SSPN was introduced by the Goverment through Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN) aka National Higher Education Fund Corporation.

Depositors agree for PTPTN to manage and invest their deposits under the Islamic concept of “Wakalah Bil Istithmar”.

SSPN offers returns of ~4% and annual tax relief of up to RM6,000.

From 2012, having a SSPN account is a pre-requisite for taking a PTPTN loan.

From 2018, SSPN is renamed as SSPN1M (SSPN 1 Malaysia).

 

SSPN Eligibility Criteria

  1. Malaysian Citizen
  2. Depositor: Age 18-64
  3. Child Beneficiary: Age below 29
  4. Min account opening: RM20

Account Opening

  • Online
  • PTPTN counter/ agent
  • Banks: Maybank, Bank Islam, Agrobank, Bank Rakyat, or RHB Bank

Note: There are no restrictions on accounts you can open.

 

SSPN Benefits

  1. Child qualifies for PTPTN loan application for higher education.
  2. Matching RM500 savings for RM500 invested in for children aged 7-12 (withdrawable only after age 18)
  3. Parent/guardian tax relief of up to RM6,000 per annum ONLY for parent/guardian of qualified child beneficiary.
    Note: If both parents filing joint tax relief, total combined is RM6,000 only.
  4. Free takaful insurance with minimum deposit RM1,000.
  5. Consideration for matching grant of up to RM10,000 for eligible families with monthly base pay below RM4,000.
  6. Savings guaranteed by the Malaysian government.
  7. Competitive dividends which are tax-exempt.
  8. Flexibility to save in any PTPTN branch, 3000 agent locations, and via online banking.

 

SSPN Returns

SSPN Historical Returns

SSPN Estimated Returns

SSPN estimated returns based on 4.0% p.a. compounding

 

SSPN Tax Relief

Tax relief of up to RM6,000 per annum for parent/guardian saving SSPN-i for their child.

For parents with separate tax filing and separate SSPN-i account for child, each parent qualifies for tax relief up to RM6,000 each per annum.

SSPN child account must be opened before age 18 to qualify for the tax relief (with annual contribution) until child turns 29.

Note: Self contribution accounts not qualified for tax relief

Tax Relief Example

Tax Savings based on RM6,000 p.a. SSPN deposit. Effective tax savings is an estimate based on ~50% simple tax savings as Malaysia is on a progressive tax bracket. Run an online tax calculator or check with a tax consultant for more accurate tax savings.

 

SSPN Takaful Insurance Benefit

Coverage: Death, and Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)

Death Benefit:

  • Ringgit matching deposit amount
  • RM2,000 (depositor)
  • RM500 (beneficiary)

TPD Benefit:

  • Ringgit matching deposit amount (up to RM2.5m maximum)

 

SSPN Contribution Methods

  • PTPTN Counter: debit card/ATM card
  • JomPAY
  • Salary auto-deduction
  • e-SSPN-i online portal
  • PTPTN agents

 

SSPN Account Withdrawal and Closure

SSPN partial withdrawal can be at any time with min RM20 to keep account active.

SSPN complete account closure can be done at any time. You can opt to reopen your account again.

SSPN account closure also occurs upon depositor death.

SSPN account closure requires submission of deposit withdrawal form, account closure form, copy of savings account book front page, and matching grant form/death certificate/other relevant documents (if applicable).

Stated account closure process time frame is 14 working days with full and complete documents submission.

 

Overall on SSPN

SSPN is an option to save for your child’s higher education for tax benefits, provided returns continue to average ~4% above, and you do not mind your funds being tied down in the account.

Pros

  • RM6,000 tax relief is decent provided your chargeable income is at least above RM35,000 (above RM2,916 monthly). This will be at 10% or higher tax bracket.
  • Extra perks of PTPTN loan qualification, and free takaful insurance coverage.

Cons

  • There have been some complaints about inefficiencies and delays for funds disbursements.
  • PTPTN has faced difficulties collecting back loans made out although PTPTN has since denied it is facing any financial difficulties.

 

More Info

 

FAQ

Q: What banks (agents) can I make payments through?
Maybank, Bank Islam, Agrobank, Bank Rakyat, RHB Bank, CIMB Bank, and BSN.

Q: Does the SSPN RM6,000 tax relief include dividends?
No. Only the (up to) RM6,000 deposited in the year qualifies for tax relief. SSPN dividends are tax exempt though.

Q: What is SSPN-i Plus? Will I qualify for another RM6,000 tax relief?
SSPN-i Plus although similar sounding is different from SSPN. SSPN-i Plus is takaful (insurance) coverage which costs you from RM30 upwards monthly providing. This qualifies for a further RM6,000 tax relief BUT only if you have not maxed out your EPF/life insurance contribution.

Q: After graduation, can child continue to maintain SSPN? e.g. for post-grad studies. If yes, does the parent/child get tax relief?
Yes, SSPN-i accounts can be continued on.  Tax relief would only be for parent as depositor paying for child beneficiary. The child account must be converted to an individual account at age 29 to continue saving with SSPN.

Q: Does account closure have to be for one of the reasons stated above?
A: Checking with PTPTN, you can close your SSPN-i account (full withdrawal) at any time (not necessarily for withdrawal from child withdrawal from education/public university or other reasons listed above).

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34 thoughts on “Should You Invest in SSPN?

  • May 13, 2017 at 2:56 pm
    Permalink

    Is tax relief allowed for EPF self contribution by the self employed?

    I am self employed aged 64.
    I pay my own EPF contribution.
    Am I allowed tax relief up to 6000 p.a.?

    Hi CK, Yes EPF self-contribution is exempt for tax relief up to 6,000 p.a.

    Do note that EPF contribution tax relief is shared with life insurance (and SSPN-i Plus)

    Reply
  • November 1, 2017 at 4:38 pm
    Permalink

    Am working for a company and I am Single age 56 years old.
    Can I apply for SSPN.
    Will I get a tax relief up to 6,000 p.a.

    Hi Yuet Pheng, Yes you can apply for SSPN. However, the tax relief is only if you are a parent/guardian of child beneficiary aged below 29.

    Reply
  • November 22, 2017 at 10:37 pm
    Permalink

    I have open a SSPN account last year for the tax relief purpose. However should I continue to invest ANOTHER 6,000 this year so I can get the tax relief next year?

    Hi Enna, if you want the tax relief for tax 2017 filing then yes.

    Reply
  • November 24, 2017 at 4:42 pm
    Permalink

    I am still under employment. My son, aged 25, starts employment this year (2017) . MY query :

    a) Can I operate a SSPN account with my my son as beneficiary, even though he has started employment ?

    b) If the answer to (a) above is “YES”, am I entitled to Tax Relief for Resident Individual up to RM6,000.00 as per LHDN regulation?

    c) If the answer to (b) above is “YES”, will my SSPN Tax Relief entitlement lapse upon my Son attaining age 29 i.e. in 2021 year of assessment?

    Thanks.

    Rgds: Kenneth Tan

    Hi Kenneth, Thanks for the queries (which sounds like programming if-else questions! XD). Unfortunately your child would need to be age below 18 at the time of SSPN child account opening to qualify for the tax relief. If your child was below 18, you would then continue to enjoy the tax relief (with annual contributions) until your child turns 29.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2017 at 11:30 am
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    Hi. If both me and my husband are filing separate tax claims, can both os us open accounts for the same child name?

    Hi HK, Yes both of you can open accounts for the same child name.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2017 at 5:27 pm
    Permalink

    compare SSPN-I and SSPN-I Plus, which one is better?

    Hi KK, for SSPN-i and SSPN-i Plus the key difference would be SSPN-i Plus is a takaful (insurance) coverage. For tax relief purposes, it can be considered for part of your EPF/life insurance contribution if it has not been maxed out. Thus it depends on your needs. For most people, the focus will be on the SSPN tax relief of 6k which would be by maxing out SSPN-i only at 6k.

    Reply
    • January 4, 2018 at 5:27 pm
      Permalink

      hi.. if i already have the sspn-i plus account, i need to deposit 6k in order to qualify for the tax relief right? does the 6k include takaful contribution as well? thanks!

      Hi Syarina, Yes you will need to deposit 6k for tax relief within the year. And yes it’s inclusive of the takaful contribution for the SSPN-i plus account.

      Reply
  • December 14, 2017 at 1:37 pm
    Permalink

    Hi there,
    I have opened SSPN account deposited RM6k in 2016 and gotten my tax relief for the year 2016. If I would want to have my tax relief for year 2017, meaning I have to deposit another RM6K by end of 2017 is it? Thanks

    Hi KK, great that you got your tax relief for 2016. Yes another 6k placement would be required for 2017 tax relief.

    Reply
  • December 14, 2017 at 10:26 pm
    Permalink

    Hi, based on your post

    “SSPN partial withdrawal is only allowed after 1 year. SSPN partial withdrawal amount is only allowed once a year for RM500 OR 10% of account balance (whichever is lower).”

    I thought SSPN can withdraw at anytime. The above only applies to SSPNi+ right?

    Hi JF, we have contacted SSPN to confirm & updated the article that withdrawal for SSPN-i is at anytime with min account balance RM20 to keep account active.

    Reply
  • December 15, 2017 at 5:28 pm
    Permalink

    If we can withdraw anytime , let say I had deposited RM6000 last year, wont that mean I can withdraw it and bank it in again just to have the tax rebate?

    Hi Shen, Won’t work that way as it considers the net deposit total.

    Reply
  • December 17, 2017 at 1:32 pm
    Permalink

    Hi I have opened account for my two kids. May I know if the amount entitled for deduction is net saving in to SSPN as a whole or by individual sspn account ? What is the amount entitled for tax relief in 2016 & 2017 for below scenario. Thanks.

    Kid1 : deposited 6 k in 2015 and withdraw 6 k in 2016. Just deposited 6 k in 2017.
    Kid 2: deposited 6 k in 2016 and withdraw 6 k in 2017. No deposit made in 2017.

    Hi Ang, the tax relief is defined as total deposit in year MINUS total withdrawal in year based on the depositor. For example 2017 your total deposit 6k MINUS total withdrawal 6k = 0.

    Reply
    • January 17, 2018 at 9:58 pm
      Permalink

      Hi, the question ask above is:
      for Kid1, deposited of 6k in 2015 entitled for tax relief. (Saving done)
      in year 2016, withdrawal of 6k. Expected, no relief.
      in year 2017, deposit 6K again. would he/she get the tax relief for year 2017?

      Hi Win, I don’t see why not based on the current guidelines. But may see guidelines change if many people try this.

      Reply
  • December 19, 2017 at 11:09 am
    Permalink

    My daughter is enjoying PTPTN loan for her university education. She has open an SSPN-i, when i deposit into this account :-
    (1) Am i entitle to my personal income tax relief on RM6K deposited?
    (2) Will the money in SSPN-i automatically pay down partially her student loan when she graduates ?

    Thanks

    Hi Melissa, 1) Yes you will qualify for income tax relief if you are the depositor for child beneficiary account.
    2) No it will not be automatically deducted from the SSPN-i account. One will need to make arrangements for the PTPTN loan payment starting latest 6 months from graduation date.

    Reply
  • December 19, 2017 at 4:34 pm
    Permalink

    I have called the PTPTN careline to check and there would be no condition for withdrawal. Can you please confirm that the conditions below are correct?

    SSPN account closure and withdrawal conditions:-

    Child offered a place in approved higher learning institution.
    Child voluntary withdrawal from education system.
    Child has been expelled.
    Suffering from incurable critical illness certified by doctor.
    Depositor/child total and permanent disability or death.

    Hi Rodney, Yes the withdrawal can be done at any time as conditions have been removed. The earlier posted information was for full account closure and withdrawal conditions which was supplied by SSPN. SSPN has since removed the above conditions listing and replaced with only depositor death. We have updated article as such. Thanks!

    Reply
  • December 24, 2017 at 4:41 pm
    Permalink

    hi , may i know if can exempted the tax every year in the following scneario every years? 🙂

    Year1. 31/dec/2017 deposit 6k to sspn and then widthdraw all $ on 2/jan/2018

    Y2. 31/dec/2018 deposit 12k to sspn and then widthdraw all $ on 2/jan/2019

    Y3.31/dec/2019 deposit 18k to sspn and then widthdraw all $ on 2/jan/2020

    Y4.31/dec/2020 deposit 24k to sspn and then widthdraw all $ on 2/jan/2021

    Y5.31/dec/2021deposit 30k to sspn and then widthdraw all $ on 2/jan/2022

    and sequence year until kids year 29?

    please advice.

    thank you.

    Hi Karl, Interesting scenario. Believe this would fulfill the deposit/withdrawal requirements of 6k annually. We have yet to know of anyone who has tried this out whether it is regarded as a loophole and will be allowed now and into the future (especially if done by many).

    Reply
    • January 17, 2018 at 10:03 pm
      Permalink

      The one who tried would not want to make this public. As soon, the regulation will change. Brilliant!

      Reply
  • December 26, 2017 at 4:18 pm
    Permalink

    I have an account few years ago through CIMB, i wanted to continue, please contact me where to bank in the money.

    Hi Kee, this can be done at any PTPTN branch or online.

    Link: PTPTN Branches

    Reply
  • December 27, 2017 at 9:16 am
    Permalink

    Hello there. i don’t understand regarding the tax relief example table. what does it mean by tax rate, simple tax saving and effective tax savint. FYI, i monthly income is roughly 6k. thank you in advance.

    Hello Mohd Naqiuddin, tax rate would be the highest tax bracket that you are in. Simple tax savings would be RM6k x your tax bracket. However, your effective tax rate will differ as Malaysia’s progressive tax rate increases with income earned. Run a tax calculator or with a tax consultant to determine your actual tax savings.

    Reply
  • December 27, 2017 at 8:04 pm
    Permalink

    Hello there. Applying online on the PTPTN website is so confusing. If I am applying for an account for my daughter who is 1 year old, what type of account should i select?
    1. Akaun untuk Anak Jagaan yang Sah
    2. Akaun untuk Diri Sendiri
    3. Akaun lain-lain

    I am assuming “Butir-butir Pendeposit” refers to the parent, and “Butir-butir Penerima Manfaat/Diri Sendiri” refers to my daughter?

    Would you recommend opening online or going via one of the banks?

    Hello Coco, it should be option 1. Akaun untuk anak jagaan yang sah. Yes “Butir-butir Pendeposit” refers to the parent, and “Butir-butir Penerima Manfaat/Diri Sendiri” refers to your daughter. Both has its pros.
    Online saves you time while at a bank they can help answer some of your queries. Hope this helps!

    Reply
  • December 28, 2017 at 2:11 pm
    Permalink

    I deposited additional sum on 28 Dec. through online payment to add up to the total of RM6k investment for 2017. Will the last minute deposited amount count on for the year 2017 tax relief or it will be forwarded to 2018?

    Hi Amiz, As long as it goes into your account by Dec 31, 2017 it should count for year 2017 tax relief.

    Reply
  • December 29, 2017 at 2:53 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Admin,
    Thanks for your detailed post and for answering each and every question from visitors.

    I just opened an account for my daughter via the PTPTN portal https://www.ptptn.gov.my/esmas-open-acc-web/#/openAccount and paid online, etc. Also got the transaction receipt via e-mail.

    But how do I log-in to view the account, or perhaps get any acknowledgement/proof that I have opened the account?

    Hi Neo, You’re most welcome. Great that you got your account setup. You can check your SSPN-i account online.

    Link: https://www.ptptn.gov.my/saving/sspnlogin.html

    Reply
    • December 29, 2017 at 4:49 pm
      Permalink

      Did I mention you are awesome?!
      Thanks again for all your help and great content. Happy New Year to you!

      Happy to help! 🙂 Happy new year!!

      Reply
  • December 29, 2017 at 3:48 pm
    Permalink

    Hi admin, I’ve opened an SSPN-i account for my daughter, but now that I’ve changed my mind, how do I upgrade it into SSPN-i plus? Or should I open another account?

    Hi Aiena, the SSPN-i plus would be a different account type. You will need to open another account for SSPN-i plus.

    Reply
  • January 2, 2018 at 9:18 pm
    Permalink

    Hi, I have registered my kids for SSPN-i Plus and is paying a monthly commitment for RM50/month/child.
    I saw that RM10 is been deducted monthly. If i top-up the account to RM1000, will i get the free insurance (thus you wont deduct the Rm10/month)?

    TQ

    Hi Azura, the SSPN-i Plus is separate and different from SSPN-i. SSPN-i Plus comes together with takaful bundled. For example, your RM50 Delima package is bundled with the RM10 takaful payment monthly. The free takaful insurance protection is for SSPN-i only.

    Reply
    • January 4, 2018 at 10:18 am
      Permalink

      so, the rm10 is deducted right? means i only save rm40/month rigtht? sorry im a bit confused. tq

      Yes, you’re right. RM10 goes to pay for takaful-related.

      Reply
  • January 4, 2018 at 7:14 pm
    Permalink

    Hi,. I need some clarification on below:

    Both of my husband and myself are working and filing separate tax assessment. We have only one kid. In order to enjoy the maximum tax relief, please advice if :

    a. Is the account no. different when both of us opened the SSPN accounts separately.

    b. If yes, since my husband and myself deposit RM6,000 separately and snce we are filing separate tax, can both of us claim the tax relief of RM6,000 each.

    c. If yes, my son will have 2 different SSPN accounts with combined fund of RM12,000.

    Thanks in advance for the advice.

    Hi Emily,
    a) Yes there will be 2 different account nos
    b) Yes each of you can claim RM6,000 as filing tax separately
    c) That’s right

    Reply
  • January 7, 2018 at 7:06 pm
    Permalink

    Good day! can I claim tax relief for the amount from both my children SSPN accounts? Pls advise thanks.

    Good day Katherine, Yes you can up to RM6k per individual parents if 2 parents filing separately for SSPN-i.

    Reply
  • January 8, 2018 at 10:56 pm
    Permalink

    Hi there,
    I have 3 accounts for my kids SSPN and need to know 1 of my son is 7 year old this year 2018. Did my son will get money rm500 bajet 2018. If yes please advice me which bank I can get.

    Hi Gayathiri, upon official announcement and if criteria met, the 500 matching grant should be credited into the SSP1M account.

    Reply
  • January 12, 2018 at 12:15 am
    Permalink

    is sspn same as sspn-i ?

    Hi Chia, Yes SSPN mentioned in this article would be referring to SSPN-i (unless stated otherwise like SSPN-i Plus which comes with takaful protection).

    Reply
  • January 26, 2018 at 10:07 am
    Permalink

    Hi there, good day.

    so SSPN = SSPN-i, all the benefit above will be same.
    e.g. SSPN offers returns of ~4% and annual tax relief of up to RM6,000.

    is that a way to check my Child’s SSPN account online? e.g. transaction.

    Thank you.

    Hi Chloe, yes we’re referring to SSPN-i when we mention SSPN in the article. It has been rebranded as SSPN1M-i as of 2018. You can check the account online here:

    https://www.ptptn.gov.my/saving/sspnlogin.html

    Reply
  • January 26, 2018 at 2:01 pm
    Permalink

    hi,
    is there a limits for this sspn-i ? i mean can i deposit for example 100k into this sspn-i, knowing its getting a good interest return rates ?

    Hi Michael, Yes you can as no known limit. If you’re looking for even better investment return opportunities than SSPN-i, do contact us.

    http://mypf.my/contact

    Reply
  • January 31, 2018 at 11:56 pm
    Permalink

    I have opened a SSPN account. 2 question:
    1) How and where to make deposit to SSPN account? Can bank in through Maybank?
    2) How to withdraw money from SSPN account?

    Thank you.

    Hi Ling, 1) Deposits can be made directly to SSPN branches or agents/banks including Maybank.
    2) Withdrawals can be done via SSPN with supporting documents.

    http://www.ptptn.gov.my/web/english-tutup/savings/withdrawal-closure

    Reply
  • February 6, 2018 at 12:12 am
    Permalink

    Hi,

    (1) Do I still enjoy personal tax relief up to RM 12000 if I open a SSPN1M i (2018) account for my son and deposit RM 12000 into the account every year after 2021..? According to the T&C, I am eligible to gain tax relief from year 2018 until 2020, how about after 2020 until 2035, if I continue to deposit RM 12000 every year?

    (2) Do the previous “pendeposit SSPN and SSPN-i” still can enjoy their tax relief every calender year until nowaday even they have brought it for more than 4~10 years?

    Thank you !

    Hi LengZai,
    (1) The personal tax relief for SSPN1M-i is RM6000 until 2020 (a separate RM6000 for SSPN-i Plus). After 2020 will depend if tax relief is announced as eligible.
    (2) Previous tax relief would need to have been deposited in those years & filed tax relief.

    Reply

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