1 in 8 met Minimum Sum?

I refer to the increase in the CPF Minimum Sum (MS) and Medisave
Minimum Sum (MMS) to $139,000 and $38,500, respectively, from 1 July.

Can’t meet Minimum Sum – can withdraw $5,000?

With the scheduled gradual phase-out of the MS withdrawal rule, which
is 10 per cent now, to zero per cent on 1 January next year, those
reaching age 55 with less than the MS of $139,000, can only withdraw

How many can meet Minimum Sum?

As the percentage of active CPF members who meet their MS including
the pledging of property at age 55, was 45 per cent in 2011, what is
the percentage who were able to meet the MS in cash in their CPF,
without the property pledge?

1 in 8 met MS?

From the CPF Trends: CPF Membership, June 2012 report, I calculated that there were 187,426 active CPF members aged 51 to 55 out of the total active CPF members of 1.74 million in 2011. There were 197,476 inactive CPF members aged 51 to 55.

As there are also 1.64 million inactive CPF members, what percentage of
both active and inactive Singaporean CPF members who reach 55, were
able to meet the MS?

I estimate this figure to be about 1 in 8, as an estimated 1 in 4 active CPF members were able to meet the MS in cash.

In this connection, how many Singaporeans who turn 55 from 1 July, are
estimated to have a total of $177,500 (MS plus MMS) or more in their

More can’t meet Minimum Sum?

This statistic may be significannt because whilst it is good to adjust
the MS over the years to account for inflation, longer life
expectancies and Singaporean’s rising expectations of their quality of
life after retirement, we should also be cosnizant of the
implications, particularly for lower-income elderly Singaporeans, if
increasingly lesser people are able to meet the increasing MS and MMS.

In this connection, with current inflation at 5 per cent, I find it rather contradictory to say that most Singaporeans may not be so adversely affected by inflation because most already have a house and don’t have a car (thus, no COE), whereas the inflation used for increasing the MS and MMS is based on the full Consumer Price Index (CPI), inclusive of housing and transport?

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.