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BUDGET 2017

Number of 55-year-olds with Basic Retirement Sum to go up

Swee Say: CPF balances will improve with higher wages and labour-force participation rate

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Six in 10 CPF members now amass enough savings to meet the Basic Retirement Sum at age 55. In 2020, the proportion will go up to seven in 10, says Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say.

Singapore

SIX in 10 active Central Provident Fund (CPF) members now accumulate enough savings for their Basic Retirement Sum account when they turn 55. The number, first achieved in 2013, is likely to rise to seven in 10 for members turning 55 in 2020.

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said that with higher wages and a higher labour-force participation rate, especially among older workers, CPF balances are expected to keep improving in the coming years.

He was replying to queries raised during the Committee of Supply debate on his ministry in Parliament on Monday.

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Several enhancements were introduced last year to help CPF members to save more for their retirement. Examples are the higher CPF ceiling, improved ease of transfer of CPF savings to the account of one's spouse and the Enhanced Retirement Sum.

Mr Lim said that the enhanced savings are for retirement use, and that the government will not allow these savings to be used for overseas training courses, despite many calls for it.

Mr Lim noted that while CPF money can already be used to support basic tertiary education in local approved institutions, the government must also do more to safeguard CPF members' retirement adequacy - especially now that lifespans have improved.

"So we need to be careful about expanding the use of CPF for other purposes," he said.

The minister said MOM is working on improving three aspects of the CPF Investment Scheme (CPFIS): The first is the introduction of a self-assessment tool which members can use to determine whether CPFIS is suitable for them; the second is the lowering of the cap on sales charge to discourage financial intermediaries from proactively selling products to CPF members; the third is a review of the asset classes offered under CPFIS to gauge their suitability for growing retirement savings.

These changes will be announced later in the year. CPF members who prefer a simpler investment option can look forward to the CPF Lifetime Retirement Investment Scheme, the details of which MOM is working on, said Mr Lim.

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