Written Answer by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on Transfer of CPF Funds from Ordinary Account to Retirement Account
Notice Paper No. 381 of 2013 For The Sitting On 21 Oct 2013
Question No. 634 For Written Answer
MP: Ms Irene Ng Phek Hoong
To ask the Acting Minister for Manpower with regard to the transfer of CPF funds from the Ordinary Account to the Retirement Account (a) how many appeals a year has the Ministry received for the last five years from those directly affected by the transfer and, of these, what percentage of the appeals relates to (i) housing loan repayment (ii) education and (iii) medical bills; and (b) what percentage of the appeals is successful.
- When a CPF member turns age 55, his savings in his CPF Ordinary Account (OA) and Special Account (SA) will be used to set aside the Minimum Sum (MS) in his Retirement Account (RA). Members may use their RA savings in excess of half the Minimum Sum for housing. This is to ensure members have at least some level of cash savings for their expenses in retirement. Most members are familiar with this rule, and have planned ahead so that they would not be affected by the transfer of OA monies to the RA. CPF Board also sends letters to inform these members two months in advance, and holds seminars to explain what happens when they reach 55 years of age.
- There is a small group of members who may face difficulty in financing their housing instalments or appeal to use their RA monies to finance their child’s tertiary education after their OA savings have been transferred to their RA at age 55. We have approved such appeals on a case-by-case basis. As for use of RA for medical expenses, this question ought not arise because OA savings cannot be used for medical bills in the first place. Medisave savings are set aside for this purpose and are not affected by the OA to RA transfer at 55.
- We have been receiving about 200 – 500 appeals related to housing and education annually, in recent years, from members who were affected by the transfer of their OA savings to RA. A large majority (about 98%) of these appeals are related to housing, and among these appeals, about 65% are successful.