Public concern over a retiree's claim at a recent public dialogue that she could not withdraw her Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings has prompted Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Health Amy Khor to issue a statement to clear the air.
The retiree in question is Ms Irene Yap, 76, a resident of Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, who took part in a dialogue last Saturday on CPF savings, organised by her Member of Parliament Hri Kumar Nair.
Ms Yap had pleaded for help during the dialogue, saying she had been unable to withdraw money from her CPF Retirement Account (RA) and that she wanted to take her money out as soon as possible because at age 76, she did not have long to live.
A video of her emotive plea was circulated online.
Yesterday, Dr Khor said: "In all probability, Ms Yap mistakenly believed that she has no avenue to withdraw her Retirement Account Savings. It is unfortunate that this has led to some public misunderstanding.
"Thus, it is important for the Central Provident Fund Board to clarify any erroneous perceptions and address public concerns."
Both Dr Khor and the CPF Board explained in their statements that the CPF Board had notified Ms Yap four months before her drawdown age in 1998 that she could apply to receive monthly payouts from her RA.
The CPF Board said that Ms Yap was in contact with them subsequently to clarify some matters.
In 2012, in response to some queries Ms Yap had, the CPF Board reminded her she could start her monthly payouts any time, or withdraw her RA savings in a lump sum, provided she had property to pledge.