CPF Board clarifies man's claim that he gets $15 in monthly payout, says unauthorised transfers to Medisave untrue

SINGAPORE - The Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board on Monday (Sept 9) clarified claims by a 69-year-old man that he receives just $15 a month from his CPF monies, explaining that he had already depleted his Retirement Account.

The monthly payout is extra interest on his Ordinary Account savings, paid by the Government, the CPF Board said.

The agency also refuted allegations 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 board said.

The CPF Board said that it had informed the man, Mr Michael Toh Thiam Hock, earlier this year that he can withdraw $10,000 from his Ordinary and Special Account savings, even though he does not have enough savings to meet his CPF basic retirement sum.

It added that he has not applied for the lump sum withdrawal.

Mr Toh wrote in a Facebook post last Friday(Sept 6) that CPF credited $15 into his bank account for his retirement expenses this month.

He shared a screenshot of his CPF statement, which shows that there is almost $50,000 in his Medisave account and about $9,000 and $8,000 in his Ordinary and Special Accounts respectively.

According to the statement dated Sept 4, there is no money in his Retirement Account.

Mr Toh took issue with getting $15 a month in payouts to pay for necessities while he has funds in his Medisave account which he might not be able to use.

The Straits Times could not confirm the amounts in his various accounts as the information is private.

A person's Medisave can be used for medical expenses such as insurance premiums, in-patient care, out-patient care and long-term care.

Medisave monies cannot be withdrawn for non-healthcare reasons, nor transferred to other accounts, but they can be inherited by a person appointed by the account holder after he dies.

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The CPF Board added on Monday that, like all CPF members, Mr Toh's CPF contributions are allocated to the Ordinary, Medisave and Special accounts for his housing, healthcare and retirement needs.

It noted that Mr Toh has used more than $86,000 of his CPF savings to meet these needs, with more than $54,000 used for his flat, which is now fully paid up.

It added that he has withdrawn more than $9,000 from his Retirement Account since 2013.

The board said Mr Toh can enhance his retirement income by renting out a room, right-sizing to a smaller flat or selling a portion of his flat's lease back to the Housing Board under the Lease Buyback Scheme.

"HDB officers are available to guide him through the process," it said.

ST has contacted Mr Toh for comment.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.