Currently set at age 65, there are no plans at the moment to decrease the eligibility age for the payout for the Central Provident Fund (CPF) members. Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said this in Parliament in response to a question on November 20, Tuesday.
The MP for Nee Soon GRC, Lee Bee Wah, asked the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to consider decreasing the CPF payout age to 62, which is the retirement age. In 2007, the age for the CPF payout had been increased to 65, to make sure that in this day and age, with Singaporeans living longer, they would be able to put aside enough money for retirement in their CPF savings.
According to Teo, under re-employment laws, almost all of the local employees (98 percent) in the private sector who want to continue to be employed by 62 years old are given the chance of re-employment. “A similarly high proportion – 97.5 percent – among those reaching the age of 65 were offered re-employment,” she said, as reported by The Straits Times.
Lee had asked another question concerning whether early withdrawal or funds payout can be made if someone needs to retire ahead of time. Teo answered that cases such as these would be individually considered.
“Members who have stopped working because they are terminally ill or permanently incapacitated can approach CPF Board for early withdrawals of their CPF monies. The CPF Board will carefully consider their appeals and approve those with valid medical grounds.”
She emphasized that what is most important is ensuring that people have enough money for their retirement years.
”From the age of 55, members can withdraw their CPF savings above the Basic Retirement Sum if they have made a sufficient property pledge. It would not be in the member’s interest to further deplete his retirement savings through additional early withdrawals.”
If a CPF member sells or transfers a property whose amount he or she pledged to their Retirement Account in order to fill up the Full Retirement Sum, they would have to refund the amount of the said pledge.
The Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers are now looking into whether adjustments need to be made to the retirement age of 62 and the re-employment age of 67, as well as the impact of contribution rates to the CPF concerning the needs of older workers in retirement. The Workgroup’s findings are expected to be shared when Parliament discusses the budget of every ministry at the Committee of Supply debates in 2019.