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Written Answer by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Manpower and Minister for Social and Family Development, to Parliamentary Question on Application of New CPF Withdrawal Amounts to Different Retirement Age Cohorts

Notice Paper No. 95 Of 2015 For The Sitting On 13 April 2015 Question No. 534 For Oral Answer 

MP: Er Dr Lee Bee Wah
Er Dr Lee Bee Wah 
Er Dr Lee Bee Wah 

To ask the Minister for Manpower with regard to the changes in the CPF rules (a) why is the rule that a CPF account holder can withdraw 20% of savings from his CPF Retirement Account upon turning 65 years applicable to only those who turn 55 years old in 2013 and not earlier; and (b) what options do older CPF members have should they need to use money from their CPF Retirement Account.


  1. The new withdrawal rules do not apply to older cohorts because the withdrawal rules for older cohorts were already more generous. CPF members turning 55 in 2008 and earlier would already have been allowed to withdraw 50% of their retirement savings in a lump sum from the age of 551. It would be excessive to now allow these cohorts to withdraw an additional 20% of their retirement savings in a lump sum at 65. Doing so would mean there would be too little left behind in the Retirement Accounts to provide a meaningful payout in retirement.
  2. We tightened the withdrawal rules from 2009 to 2013 to ensure members had sufficient savings set aside for retirement. The withdrawable amount was gradually reduced such that from 2013, CPF members who turned 55 with less than the Minimum Sum, and who did not have property to pledge, could only withdraw the first $5,000 in their CPF accounts.
  3. Most of the CPF changes announced at Budget/COS this year will apply to new cohorts turning 55 from 2016. In the case of the withdrawal rules, we have allowed cohorts who turned 55 from 2013 to benefit because these cohorts were affected by the tightening of the withdrawal rules. For the cohort who turned 55 in 2012, or in other words those aged 58 this year, we will allow a withdrawal of 10% of their Retirement Account savings at 65, since they were only allowed to withdraw 10% of their savings from 55. All older members aged 59 and older this year would already have been allowed to withdraw 20% or more of their CPF savings in a lump sum from the age of 55.

1 Cohorts prior to 1987 could withdraw all of their retirement savings at 55 as the Minimum Sum Scheme had not yet been introduced.