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Only 50% of Singapore’s active CPF members met FRS in cash for 2022

In 2022, approximately 50% of active CPF members at age 55 met their Full Retirement Sum (FRS) in cash, while about 30% couldn’t.

Dr Tan See Leng, the Manpower Minister, said government aims to bolster retirement security by extending retirement and re-employment ages to 65 and 70 by 2030, offering seniors the option to work longer.

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SINGAPORE: Dr Tan See Leng, Singapore’s Minister of Manpower, revealed that in 2022, approximately half of all active CPF members at age 55, totalling 19,700 individuals, successfully met the Full Retirement Sum (FRS) requirement by saving in cash.

In contrast, roughly three out of every ten members were unable to do so.

In comparison, seven in 10 active CPF members who turned age 55 last year set aside the CPF Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) or more.

The BRS for CPF members turning age 55 in 2022 is S$96,000, while the FRS is S$192,000, according to the factsheet provided by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

In response to a Parliamentary Question posed by Workers’ Party MP Louis Chua Kheng Wee on Wednesday (4 Oct), Dr Tan shared data concerning the number of Singaporeans capable of satisfying the CPF Full Retirement Sum (FRS) criteria.

Mr Chua asked the Minister that in each year over the last five years, what is the number of Singaporeans who are able to set aside their CPF Full Retirement Sum (FRS) fully in cash and in a mixture of property and cash respectively; and what is the number of Singaporeans who are unable to set aside their FRS.

In response, Dr Tan confirmed that the percentage of active CPF members reaching the age of 55 who managed to set aside their FRS in cash increased from around 40% in 2018 to approximately 50% in 2022.

The specific numbers for these members were as follows:

Year Active CPF members reaching the age of 55 who managed to set aside their FRS in cash
2018 17,000
2019 18,000
2020 18,500
2021 19,100
2022 19,700

Additionally, between 2018 and 2022, roughly 20% of active CPF members reaching age 55 each year opted to allocate their FRS in a combination of property and cash instead of entirely in cash.

Year Active CPF members turning age 55 have set aside their FRS in a mixture of property and cash
2018 6,900
2019 6,800
2020 6,900
2021 7,100
2022 7,000

Significantly, in 2022, about 30% of active CPF members who turned 55 were unable to meet the FRS criteria either in cash or through a combination of cash and property, amounting to approximately 13,400 members.

Only 65% of active CPF members aged 55 achieved the BRS and owned property

Notably, the report  “Minimum Income Standard 2023: Household Budgets in a Time of Rising Costs,” conducted by NTU and LKYSPP, highlighted that only 65% of active CPF members who turned 55 in 2021 have either saved enough for the CPF Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) and owned a property, or had saved the Full Retirement Sum.

The report noted that Within the Central Provident Fund (CPF), modest hikes to the BRS and FRS didn’t have a significant impact on the adequacy of retirement income.

Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim, MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC also filed a separate PQ to ask the Manpower Minister what steps will the Ministry take, together with employers, to increase the awareness of adequate retirement planning amongst employees, especially older workers.

In response, Dr Tan stressed that ensuring basic retirement adequacy begins with maintaining a competitive economy that generates quality employment opportunities.

“We uplift lower-wage workers through Workfare and Progressive Wage moves. Singaporeans can be assured that they will be able to meet their basic retirement needs as long as they work and contribute consistently to CPF.”

Dr Tan also disclosed that approximately seven out of every ten active CPF members who turned 55 in 2022 successfully set aside the CPF Basic Retirement Sum or more.

He expressed optimism that this figure would improve to around eight out of ten for CPF members reaching the age of 55 in 2027.

Dr Tan says the government support Singaporean senior to work longer to further strengthen their retirement adequacy

In response to the increasing life expectancy of Singapore’s seniors who desire to remain engaged in the workforce, Dr Tan said the PAP government are committed to providing support.

“We will support them by increasing the statutory retirement and re-employment ages to 65 and 70 respectively by 2030, up from 63 and 68 today.”

“This will enable our seniors to work longer if they wish to and further strengthen their retirement adequacy.”

Retirement planning is ultimately a personal responsibility. To help Singaporeans in this journey, Dr Tan highlighted that the CPF Board, MoneySense as well as MoneySense’s ground outreach arm, the Institute of Financial Literacy (IFL), conduct outreach and provide resources on retirement planning.

“For example, CPF members reaching the age of 55 will be invited to a one-to-one CPF Retirement Planning Service, which offers personalised guidance, so that they can make informed decisions on how best to prepare for retirement with their CPF savings.”

CPF Board also regularly engages and educates members on retirement planning through its social media platforms, electronic direct mailers, and face-to-face community events/talks.

“There is also an annual CPF Board Retirement Planning Campaign to inspire Singaporeans to start planning for their retirement.”

The IFL extends its support through free one-on-one financial health clinics and retirement planning workshops, covering various topics such as money management, CPF savings management, and estate planning.

“To reach employees, IFL has been partnering employers to deliver workplace financial literacy programmes.”

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The funny thing is the gov says it doesn’t know the minimum wage or cost of living for Singaporeans (or simply $1000/mth is sufficient to buy a HDB), yet they can work out a RS (which is a high amount of money) that a person must set aside for TH/GIC to use to invest ….. err, I mean …. for that person to retire well. Snake oil selling indeed.

The retirement scheme is not for your retirement but for govt. to borrow cheap funds to invest by GICs and TH. It will never be enough because interest by HDB is 2.6%. So only 1.4% paid.Add in inflation cost. All wiped out and in the red. When you retire govt. will refuse a living wage. So the suicides increase as people realize they don’t have enough for food and basic needs.

Shhhh!!
Dont let the 70% know..
( they dont believe anyway)

The CPF has been sucked dry by the properties that people bought.
Regardless if its HDB or private.

There is no way there will be sufficient cash in the CPF, unless salaries keep rising ( fat hope)
Unless these people downsize to even smaller homes, then there might be a chance.

Its a dog chasing its own tail… and the PAP watches, laughs and 70% laughed along too.. ( not knowing that the joke is on them )

It was basic … just return on retirement. Until it becomes a scheme then so many terms without consulting the people and decided upon by CPF and their govt cronies. When you change terms, shouldn’t you consult the acct holder to accept or Not. No becos it is a scheme!!!!! Worst saving, investment and Retirement ROJAK!

This is only PART of the possible flaws in Ah Loong’s CPF Life scheme. First the RS (Retirement Sum) has 3 tiers – Basic, Full and Enhanced. Full means the median grouping, which we now see just half of CPF members can achieve (and throwing in their properties values too – something not in the original CPF). With 30-plus% achieving only BRS (or less), that means only at best 20-minus% can hope to attain the ERS level. Elitism or not? (Also how much of this 20-% are tru-Singaporeans versus already well-to-migrate new citizens?) The big worry is CPF Life and… Read more »

And more and more would be unable to meet FRS as they had brought their HDB pigeon hole at higher and higher prices! Many more would even find it ‘difficult’ to service their HDB loan, given that the cost of living will eat more and more into their income. Even their expected ‘raise’ in their income thru the yrs ,which is not even guaranteed, given that many locals would even lose their jobs…to who else but cheaper FT like your South Asian, which would make the fulfiling of their FRS even worse! Tio bo? My 10 to 20 yrs crystal… Read more »

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