After saving money in Skim Simpanan Pendidikan Nasional (SSPN) accounts for a few years, I can say that it was a good decision to begin.
First of all, the RM3000 income tax relief has been very useful. And on top of that, I got dividends too! Here's a table I got from another blog.
They don't look like much but if you add that on to the income tax relief, the numbers look pretty good.
Second, the tax incentive has helped me to keep saving the money in SSPN and the account terms has discouraged any withdrawals. Well, since withdrawals can only be done one year after the account is opened and only ONE withdrawal (maximum 10% of total amount), any thoughts of withdrawing will be effectively squelched.
Third, I am able to use this opportunity to teach my nephews about savings and university. Plus, the possible uses of PTPTN loan. Of course I also stressed the fact that a PTPTN loan is still a LOAN. The way some students talk about PTPTN loans... it's as if the money is theirs free and clear. I was also able to show the young boys the meaning of 'matching grants' by promising them a matching grant for whatever they could save. I was floored when they brandished their Chinese New Year angpows at me ... and had to overcome a feeling of faintness. But luckily that was the only time they did that to me. And I suppose it was a good thing they saved their money as they normally finished off their angpows at toy shops.
And seeing their expressions when they viewed their account balances online was priceless. And now and again, they'd check their accounts..'to make sure the money was still there'. Ha ha... no embezzling allowed!
I think the best thing about SSPN was the chance to teach the kids some financial knowledge.
To check accounts online, go tohttp://epay.ptptn.gov.my/saving/
To print out SSPN account statements for income tax, go to http://epay.ptptn.gov.my/saving/hasillogin.jsp
The latest info from the website, beginning January 2012, it will be compulsory for all PTPTN loan applicants to have a minimum of RM20 in their SSPN account.