Unearned wakalah fee in the takaful industry in Malaysia: a critical analysis

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The issue of unearned wakalah fees (UWF) arises due to the statutory requirements in the Islamic Financial Services Act (IFSA 2013) that mandate takaful operators to refund any undue contribution with the corresponding wakaah fee in the event of surrender or termination of a takaful certificate. The relevant statutory provisions and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) guidelines on the valuation basis for liabilities of family and general takaful are open to more than one interpretation, and the exact definition and components of money not due are not clear. The implementation of the statutory provisions and regulatory guidelines on the refund of UWF has raised the following issues for the Malaysian takaful industry: 1. How to determine UWF and its components from money not due that must be refunded as stated in the statutory provisions and BNM guidelines? 2. What are the Shari'ah justifications, if any, to support the requirements for refund in the event of surrender? 3. How to resolve any Shari'ah and technical issues pertaining to the implementation of the refund of UWF due to lack of clarity regarding its definition and components? Accordingly, this paper delineates the concept and components of the wakalah contract, its salient features, contractual relationship, subject matter, including the wakalah fee, and juristic deliberations regarding it. It also examines the background and means of identifying UWF by explaining its subject and components, differences between earned and unearned wakalah fee, and the treatment of UWF. Further, it studies Shari'ah and technical issues related to recognition, calculation and refund of UWF and other surrender values.
Unearned wakalah fee , Surrender value , Takaful contribution , Payment frequency , Up-front wakalah fee
Mikail, S. A., Djafri, F., Ahmad, M., & Lukman, B. (2021). Unearned wakalah fee in the takaful industry in Malaysia: a critical analysis. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: ISRA.
International Shari'ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA)

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