There are many areas of merit as well as many sources of angst with regard to our current CPF model (in Singapore). Both perspectives have been articulated vividly and passionately recently (including at the Institute of Policy Studies’ forum on CPF and retirement adequacy), with many suggestions being put forward for consideration. As a stakeholder myself, I thought I should contribute to this process by proffering some ideas as well.
To me, the main gripe over our CPF regime revolves centrally around the general lack of autonomy over our own CPF monies due to the imposition of arbitrary limits or barriers. Currently, we possess most control only at the age of 55 (when we can withdraw the bulk of our CPF, less the Minimum Sum of S$155,000 as of today) and at 65 (where we can begin to draw down the Minimum Sum).
With our increased life expectancy and cost of retirement, cold math suggests there will be perennial pressure to revise these milestone figures upward. As many have rightfully asked, “but to what end?” Will we one day only be able to withdraw our CPF monies and Minimum Sum at the ages of 70 and 80 respectively? Will the Minimum Sum be S$300,000 then? Will I actually be able to get anything?