WP calls for earlier CPF payout at age 60, instead of current 64

WP calls for earlier CPF payout at age 60, instead of current 64

SINGAPORE - Retirees should start getting Central Provident Fund (CPF) monthly payouts from age 60, the Workers' Party said in Parliament today, instead of the current payout eligibility age of 64 this year, and 65 from 2018.

"For example, [CPF members] may have been retrenched and, because of a skills mismatch or age discrimination, may not be able to secure another job," WP's Non-Constituency MP Gerald Giam said during the budget debate.

Mr Giam also stressed that WP would not be asking for CPF members to be allowed to withdraw all their CPF savings at retirement age.

During his speech, Mr Giam also cited Singaporeans' lack of understanding regarding CPF, and suggested that members approaching the drawdown age should get personal sessions by CPF officials.

Earlier, MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Gan Thiam Poh referenced a Facebook post by Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob to say Budget could be explained better.

In her Facebook update which was posted on Monday, Mdm Halimah described her encounter with two ladies over lunch at her Bukit Batok East constituency.

The two ladies were both in their 50s and working at a condominium. Both were unaware of the latest budget news and how it affected them.

"This conversation really shows that we need to do a lot more work in communicating the changes as it is still not well understood on the ground," the MP for Jurong GRC wrote.

grongloh@sph.com.sg

Here is Mdm Halimah Yacob's Facebook post in full:

I went to eat lunch at the kopitiam at my Bukit Batok East constituency today. The kopitiam serves good nasi padang and usually you have to queue up. Whilst waiting for my turn, I met two ladies who were working at the condo near the kopitiam. They later joined my table and we had a nice conversation.

I asked them whether they had heard about the budget, in particular the higher 6 per cent CPF interest rate on the first $30,000 and the 1 per cent restoration of the employer CPF contribution rate. Both were in their 50s ( 55 and 57) and worked as cleaners. They would certainly benefit from the CPF changes. Both did not know about the changes and were pleasantly surprised.

They also asked whether it was true that if anything were to happen to them, their children would not get their remaining CPF monies. I told them that that was untrue. If they had nominated their children as beneficiaries, the money would go to them. They also did not know that the interest rate on their CPF account is cumulative meaning that interest will be paid yearly, so their funds will grow, a strong reason why they should not withdraw their CPF savings when they reach 65 years (CPF Panel had recommended allowing 20 per cent withdrawal).

All too soon, we all had to go back to work and they thanked me for the clarification. One of them even said that she felt a lot more confident now. This conversation really shows that we need to do a lot more work in communicating the changes as it is still not well understood on the ground.

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