Changes to $5,000 limit for unconditional withdrawal from CPF savings not ruled out: Tan See Leng

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SINGAPORE – The Government is not ruling out relooking the limit of $5,000 that Central Provident Fund (CPF) members can withdraw unconditionally upon turning 55, Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng said on Tuesday.

However, he cautioned in Parliament that higher withdrawals will lower future CPF payouts for the individuals.

“We constantly look at and review the policy; and looking at the broader context of the savings... the percentage of people (attaining the Basic Retirement Sum), we are not completely closed off,” said Dr Tan.

He was responding to Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai’s question on whether the $5,000 limit can be increased in line with inflation, to help lower-income Singaporeans with less CPF savings who want to use the money to fulfil their aspirations.

Mr Leong, who is secretary-general of the Progress Singapore Party, also noted that the upcoming Majulah Package will beef up the Retirement Account balances of lower-income Singaporeans, potentially providing leeway for a higher unconditional withdrawal limit.

Unveiled at the National Day Rally in August, the package includes various top-ups to the CPF accounts of low to middle-income Singaporeans aged 50 and above in 2023, such as an annual CPF bonus of up to $1,000 so long as they continue working.

Currently, once CPF members have set aside the Full Retirement Sum, which is $198,800 for those turning 55 in 2023, they can withdraw any savings in their Ordinary Account and Special Account beyond that sum, from age 55. Those who own a property with a lease lasting at least until they turn 95 can also withdraw savings above their Basic Retirement Sum, which is $99,400 for those turning 55...

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