Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo Minister for Manpower to Parliamentary Question on CPF payout eligibility age
NOTICE PAPER NO. 1403 OF 2018 FOR THE SITTING ON 20 NOVEMBER 2018
QUESTION NO. 2354 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
MP: ER DR LEE BEE WAH
To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether the Ministry will consider lowering the CPF payout age to the retirement age; and (b) whether exceptions can be made to grant a CPF member an early withdrawal or payout of his CPF funds where the member has no choice but to retire early.
The CPF Payout Eligibility Age is currently at 65. This was raised gradually from age 62 in 2007 to ensure that Singaporeans, who are living longer, are able to set aside enough CPF savings to meet their retirement needs. There are no plans to lower the CPF Payout Eligibility Age.
With our re-employment laws, more than 98% of private-sector local workers reaching age 62 who wish to continue working are offered re-employment. A similarly high proportion (97.5%) among those reaching the age of 65 were offered re-employment.
Members who have stopped working because they are terminally ill or permanently incapacitated can approach CPF Board for early withdrawals of their CPF monies. The CPF Board will carefully consider their appeals and approve those with valid medical grounds.
- In other cases where the member has stopped working, the reasons would vary widely and appeals for early CPF withdrawals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. A key consideration is the member’s retirement adequacy. From the age of 55, members can withdraw their CPF savings above the Basic Retirement Sum if they have made a sufficient property pledge. It would not be in the member’s interest to further deplete his retirement savings through additional early withdrawals.
- Instead, we work closely with tripartite partners to help the member get back to work, through heavily-subsidised job assistance programmes, such as Career Trial and Professional Conversion Programmes. If the member is among the small minority that was not offered re-employment due to lack of suitable vacancies, he would have been given an Employment Assistance Payment (EAP) by his employers to tide him over a period of time while he looks for another job. A member who has exhausted his EAP or face financial difficulties in the interim may also access a range of social support, including ComCare Short-to-Medium Term Assistance, which provides a combination of employment assistance, cash allowance, rental, utilities, as well as referrals to other agencies for further assistance, depending on the member’s needs.