The Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board has disputed a senior citizen’s claim that he is left to survive on a $15 monthly retirement payout after his CPF savings were transferred to his Medisave account without authorisation.
The authority asserted that the no transfers were made without the elderly Singaporean’s authorisation. It said that the CPF member has withdrawn over S$9,000 from his Retirement Account (RA) since 2013 – leading to the depletion of the savings in his RA – and that the S$15 he receives monthly is due to extra interest paid by the Government.
On Friday (6 Sept), 69-year-old Michael Toh Thiam Hock alleged that he has a “total amount of S$ 66,516.02 in my CPF account for my retirement expenses. But all the money werec (sic) transferred to various accounts without my agreement and permission and locked up away for my retirement expenses.”
He added on Facebook that the CPF Board released a mere S$15 into his bank account for his “retirement expenses for the month of September.” Mr Toh asked:
“How to live and survive on just $15.00 per month. Why transferred (sic) most of my money to my medisave account? I will die of hunger before I have the chance of being sick by then. Where is your priority on the used (sic) of our cpf money.
“I am coming to be 70, many people die earlier before me already. My younger brother died almost 10 years already.
“My hdb flat is fully paid up but what about monthly electricity, water, refuse disposal and conservancy fees having to pay by cash…I am not begging for hand out but wanted (sic) to live with dignity on my own savings for retirement promised to us by PAP government…”
In a Facebook post published yesterday (9 Sept), the CPF Board asserted that there is “no truth” to the allegation that most of Mr Toh’s CPF funds were transferred to MediSave without authorisation and added that Mr Toh’s Retirement Account had already been depleted following monthly payouts to him since 2013.
The CPF Board clarified: “Mr Michael Toh Thiam Hock claims that most of his CPF savings had been transferred to MediSave without his authorisation. This is not true. If there were such transfers, it would appear on his CPF statements.”
The authority added that Mr Toh was informed in February 2019 that “although he does not have enough CPF savings to meet his cohort Basic Retirement Sum, he is eligible to make a withdrawal of about S$10,000 from his Ordinary Account (OA) and Special Account savings.”
Revealing that Mr Toh has not applied for his lump sum withdrawal to date, the CPF Board added that Mr Toh has used over S$86,000 of his CPF savings to meet his housing, healthcare and retirement needs thus far and that he has used S$54,000 to fully pay for his public housing flat.
The CPF Board added that Mr Toh has withdrawn over S$9,000 from his Retirement Account (RA) since 2013 and said that the S$15 Mr Toh receives monthly is “due to the government paying extra interest on his Ordinary Account savings.”
The authority ended its statement by advising that Mr Toh could “enhance his retirement income” by “renting out a room, right-sizing his flat, or selling a portion of his flat’s lease back to HDB under the Lease Buyback Scheme.”