Connect with us


1M65 founder est. S$100k loss in interest from CPF Special Account closure for aged 55+

1M65 movement founder Loo Cheng Chuan anticipates a S$100k loss in interest earnings for his CPF saving following Special Account closure after age 55. Singaporeans express concerns over losing SA’s higher interest rates and flexibility for on-demand withdrawals.



Loo Cheng Chuan, the founder of Singapore’s personal finance movement 1M65, projects a potential loss of S$100,000 in interest earnings for his account if the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Special Account (SA) closes for individuals aged 55 and older.

Amidst fervent discussions following Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong’s recent announcement to shutter the SA for CPF members aged 55 and older, concerns have emerged among Singaporeans.

Some express lamentation over the discontinuation of the SA, renowned for its higher interest rates compared to the Ordinary Account (OA), and its flexibility for on-demand withdrawals, which exceeds that of the Retirement Account (RA).

Worries persist about the impact of unforeseen government changes on retirement planning.

Online sentiments have reflected disappointment with DPM Lawrence Wong’s CPF adjustments, with criticism centred around perceived “shifting goalposts” impeding early savings access and reduced interest rates for members.

10,000 “mostly negative” messages flood 1M65 Telegram chat after DPM Wong’s announcement

During a recent interview with Singapore state media CNA, Mr Loo disclosed that following DPM Wong’s announcement last week, approximately 10,000 “mostly negative” messages flooded the 1M65 Telegram chat, boasting over 30,000 members.

Mr Loo posits that individuals who are affluent and have access to relationship managers or private bankers remain relatively unaffected by these changes.

“The middle class are the ones that don’t have good investment options out there, that’s why they use CPF as a way to enhance their retirement. And this group of middle class is very sizeable,” he said.

Many individuals, beyond those practising CPF shielding to safeguard their funds from being moved into the Retirement Account at 55, employ the SA as a high-interest savings account, according to Mr Loo.

Those who still maintain savings in the Special Account after the transfer of the Full Retirement Sum to the Retirement Account, continue to benefit from higher interest rates.

Mr Loo acknowledges that the impact of the SA closure has been somewhat mitigated by existing CPF provisions.

Notably, withdrawal rules permit members born in 1958 and later to withdraw up to 20 per cent of their Retirement Account savings (excluding cash top-ups, CPF transfers, and government grants) after reaching the age of 65.

Assuming a member has attained the Full Retirement Sum, currently at S$205,800, Mr. Loo estimates that approximately S$40,000 can be withdrawn, including the S$5,000 available after turning 55. This withdrawal provides a source of high interest and high liquidity savings.

“This provides me with some high-interest, high liquidity (savings),” he said.

Additionally, Mr Loo highlights another rule allowing property owners to withdraw any amount from their Retirement Account exceeding the Basic Retirement Sum, excluding interest earned, cash top-ups, and government grants.

This option is available if the property has a remaining lease lasting until the owner turns 95, and the proceeds from selling or transferring the property can bring the Retirement Account balance up to the Full Retirement Sum.

The Full Retirement Sum is two times the Basic Sum as calculated by the Household Expenditure Survey in Singapore.

With this provision, Mr Loo said CPF members have the potential to withdraw around S$100,000, offering an alternative avenue for financial flexibility.

“The rest, you have to use CPF Life to extract it out. It is a very nice compromise because you can get some liquidity out at high interest, and the rest you compound and (it) gives you longevity protection,” he added.

In an interview with CNA, a homemaker expressed acceptance of the closure of the Special Account, acknowledging it as an anomaly.

Concern over potential impact of unexpected government changes on retirement planning

However, she voiced concerns about the potential impact of unexpected government changes on retirement planning.

“I do see that CPF can have a policy risk. I’m 46 now (and) anything can change from now till I reach 65. The amount might change, so many other things might change,” she said.

Mr Loo echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the awareness that the recent change brings regarding policy risk. He noted that individuals are now contemplating the possibility of future policy adjustments that could further influence their retirement planning strategies.

DPM Wong defends SA closure for 55+

On Wednesday, during CNA’s Ask the Finance Minister show, DPM Wong defended the decision to close the CPF Special Account for individuals aged 55 and older, asserting that it aligns with “the purpose and intent of the CPF.”

He emphasized the underlying principle that the OA holds funds available for withdrawal for housing and earns short-term interest rates.

In contrast, the SA is designated for long-term purposes, thus justifying a higher interest rate.

“Of course, at age 55, you also have a Retirement Account. So instead of now having SA and RA, we are streamlining it into just one, which is the RA, which is for the long-term, for your retirement needs.”

As part of this restructuring, CPF members with surplus funds in their SA can seamlessly transfer these funds to the RA, extending up to the revised Enhanced Retirement Sum, all while earning the same interest rate as the Special Account, according to DPM Wong.

“The vast majority of Singaporeans will be able to do so. And if they do so, they will get more in their RA. And eventually, when they retire, they will get higher CPF payouts for life.”

Dr Tambyah: Young seniors bear the brunt of hard-earned retirement savings loss amidst recent CPF changes

Dr Paul Ananth Tambyah, Chairman of the Singapore Democratic Party, recently scrutinized DPM Wong’s 2024 budget announcement, emphasizing its impact on individuals aged 55 and above by removing the SA, resulting in a significant drop in interest from 4% to 2.51% in the OA.

He elucidated that this equates to a loss of S$1,500 annually for someone with SS$100,000 in their special account, amounting to nearly SS$20,000 over 15 years due to compound interest.

Dr Tambyah lamented the absence of a satisfactory explanation for this change.

Expressing concern, he highlighted the financial strain on many individuals in the 55-and-above age group, fearing the loss of hard-earned retirement savings.

“We still don’t have an explanation and hopefully the government will do a U-turn on this.”

Share this post via:
Continue Reading
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

$100k loss? Is it like every of these buying one COE without actually getting a COE? So clown meh? 🤭🤣🤣🤣🏳️🏳️🏳️🏳️

Mr MaLOO is one of those who promoted the shielding with significant number of followers. Kaykiang now it’s plugged.

Very HaoLian fellow who contributed to Opposition candidate Loss in the recent PE. He lambasted and looked down on TKL.

I think every country should have a self-funded retirement plan for their citizens rather than a welfare state with the state looking after the retirees like the UK and Australia. The Singapore CPF is beginning to worry me as it is under the control of the government, and it has a habit of changing the rules unilaterally. Some call it shifting the goalposts. 1. The age for withdrawal has been changed from 55 to 65. 2. From one fund, it was gradually divided into 3 or 4, each with its own rules. 3. Then, the CPF says a certain amount… Read more »

Loo fxxking loser. Cannot afford to own landed in his own country, buy JB one instead.
Anyone complaining about SA closure is also a loser. Why?
Cos above 55, one already had done all the right investment using OA YEARS EARLIER AND REAP YIELD FAR FAR GREATER THAN 4%!
Anyone who could not do so is but a loser.
And there are plenty here!😆😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣🤣

LW is very quiet lately.
Look like he cannot take up the public bombardment stress anymore. The stress comes from most seniors, their spouses, their children and their grandchildren.
From TV, we can see his head is getting more bald, his face also getting more freckle and he is walking with slight hump, like a 70-year-old frail old man.
He will cry out loud in the parliament one day.

I recall somewhere sometime, world institutions paid compliments on SG CPF retirement, pension schemes. Are the compliments NOW POFMA able.

The only real probability is the PAP Administration has TO REPLACE outflows from CPF funds asap bcz of unpublished ‘strategic’ losses – no need rocket science to debate.

No need to kid no need to delude ownself.

Not enough money to pay 4% interest rate? So shift those above 55 yrs old good luck … 自己保重

Again the government benefits…….the people loose!

name me a government in the world which competes with its citizens.

as it is, cpf should close down and citizens be allowed to choose either to put their money in a bank or a fund company.

ForeSEE no election this year after wong’s blunder.
This may cost him to forgo the emperor throne.