Retirement Sum increase yearly to $181,000?

I refer to the article “What’s new in the CPF scheme?” (Sunday Times, Jan 3).

Basic Retirement Sum increase 3% p.a.

It states that “The Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) for CPF members turning 55 from 2017 to 2020 will be increased by 3 per cent yearly for each cohort, to account for inflation and rising standard of living.

The sum is made known ahead of time to allow for better retirement planning.

It is set at $80,500 for members aged 55 this year, rises to $83,000 for those turning 55 next year and $85,500 for the next cohort of 55-year-old members in 2018.”

The chart shows that the BRS will increase to $90,500 in 2020.”

Full Retirement Sum increase to $181,000 by 2020? 

So, does it mean that the Full Retirement Sum (FRS) will also increase at 3 per cent yearly to $166,000 next year, and to $181,000 in 2020?

55% met CPF Minimum Sum?

According to a news report in Zao Bao (Jun 2, 2015) – 55 per cent of (active?) CPF members were able to meet the Minimum Sum at age 55.

Met with property pledge?

However, I understand that this includes those who met the Minimum Sum by pledging property.

How many self-employed?

Since “23 per cent of Singaporeans who turned 55 in 2013 were inactive CPF members, while the remaining 77 per cent were active members or self-employed” – if 10 of the 77 per cent “active members” are self-employed – then the number who met the Minimum Sum with property pledge is estimated to be 36.9 per cent (55% of the 67% active members).

Is it like the previous years, whereby about half met the Minimum Sum with property pledge?

Only 1 in 5 Singaporeans met Minimum Sum at 55?

If this is the case – then the number who met the Minimum Sum entirely with CPF is estimated to be 18.5 per cent (36.9 divided by 2).

Why not just tell us how many Singaporeans met the Minimum Sum (now called the Full Retirement Sum) in full at age 55?

Use of CPF for HDB?

As to “Among CPF members who turned 55 years old over the past five years and had used CPF monies to purchase HDB flats, an average of 55 per cent of their Ordinary Account savings had been withdrawn to finance their flats at age 55” – with the continuing rise of HDB prices – how many Singaporeans will have the FRS of $161,000 now and increasing by 3 per cent per year to $181,000 in 2020?

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.