The Workers’ Party (WP) has called for the age at which people can start withdrawing their Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings to be lowered to 60 to give members more assurance.
Non-constituency Member of Parliament (MP) Gerald Giam said the payout eligibility age has been creeping up — rising from 63 last year to 64 this year, and will increase to 65 by 2018 — causing frustration for some.
However, some CPF members may have “genuine reasons” for requiring monthly payouts before reaching the payout eligibility age, which he said seems to be pegged to the re-employment or retirement age.
“For example, they may have been retrenched and, because of a skills mismatch or age discrimination, may not be able to secure another job,” said Mr Giam. “Or, they may be labourers who are simply too old to do manual work.”
Mr Giam accepted, however, that many would be saving far less for retirement if not for the compulsory savings scheme and added that the WP is not asking for CPF members to be allowed to withdraw all their savings in one lump sum, except under special circumstances.
Several MPs also said better public communication of CPF measures and changes is needed.
Mr Giam suggested that the CPF send officers to meet every member before he or she turns 55 to explain details of the scheme, including how much he or she has and the options available.
Meanwhile, MP Gan Thiam Poh (Pasir Ris-Punggol) asked the Government to consider giving more incentives and tax relief to those who top up their family members’ CPF accounts.
news source & image credits: todayonline.com