CPF Board Debunks Retiree’s Claims that He Only Had $15 A Month For Retirement Expenses

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On 6th Sep, Michael Toh Thiam Hock, a 69-year-old man, alleged on FB that the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board had only transferred $15 into his POSB savings account for his retirement expenses in September.

In his lengthy FB post, Toh explained that he had a total of $66,516.02 in his CPF account for his retirement expenses, but that all of the money were transferred to various accounts without his consent and locked away. He elaborated that most of his CPF funds had been transferred to his Medisave account without his knowledge or consent.

Toh attached a screenshot of his CPF statement showing nearly $50,000 in his Medisave account and around $9,000 and $8,000 in his Ordinary and Special Accounts respectively. He also attached a screenshot of an iBanking notification showing the $15 credited to his POSB account by the CPF Board.

In response to this, the CPF Board explained that Toh had already depleted his Retirement Account and that the $15 was a monthly payout for extra interest earned on his Ordinary Account savings. It clarified that it did not transfer his CPF savings to his Medisave account without his consent. If it did, it would have been reflected in his CPF statements.

The CPF board added that it had allowed Toh to withdraw $10,000 from his Ordinary and Special Account savings even though he did not have sufficient savings to meet the CPF minimum sum. Toh had reportedly used more than $86,000 from his savings on housing, healthcare, and retirement needs. He has withdrawn more than $9,000 from his Retirement Account since 2013.

Nevertheless, the CPF Board suggested for Toh to approach HDB officers for help with the following recommendations:

  1. To enhance his retirement income by renting out a room in his HDB flat
  2. Right-sizing to a smaller flat
  3. Selling a portion of his flat’s lease back to the HDB under the Lease Buyback Scheme

The very purpose of CPF savings is to serve Singaporeans’ basic needs such as housing, medical treatments, and retirement expenses. However, it is up to the responsibility of the individual to plan and live within those means and ensure that they have sufficient funds for retirement. It is not wise to make public his failure to manage his own finances as in Toh’s case, he kind of shot himself in the foot.

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