Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower, to PQ on CPF for housing
NOTICE PAPER NO. 1888 OF 2019 FOR THE SITTING ON 5 NOVEMBER 2019
QUESTION NO. 3294 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
MP: Mr Gan Thiam Poh
To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) for each of the past five years, how many appeals have been received to request use of monies in the CPF Retirement Account to service HDB housing loans or purchase HDB flats; (b) how many of these appeals have been approved; and (c) whether CPF and HDB will work together to provide assistance to those whose appeals are rejected.
- Our CPF system aims to help members meet three basic needs in retirement – housing, medical care and day-to-day spending. The bulk of members’ CPF contributions goes into the Ordinary Account (OA), which may be used to buy a home. MediSave helps them pay for MediShield Life premiums and major medical expenses not covered by insurance.
- The primary purpose of Special and Retirement Accounts (RA) savings is to ensure that members have a stream of retirement payouts to fund basic day-to-day spending. Generally, members can only use their RA savings for housing after setting aside their Basic Retirement Sum (BRS).
- However, the CPF Board does exercise flexibility on a case-by-case basis. Over the last five years, CPF Board approved around 80% of such appeals per year on average. These are mostly cases where some of members’ OA savings had been transferred into the RA when they turned 55.
- To help members whose appeals were rejected, CPF Board works with HDB to assess if other more appropriate forms of assistance can be provided. For example, HDB may consider reducing or deferring the housing instalments to help flat owners who have difficulty repaying their HDB loan.