Damn Funny Lah

[VIDEO] “All I Want for Christmas Is My CPF” and the Problem with the Rising CPF Minimum Sum

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“All I want for Christmas is my CPF
MY CPF, where’s my CPF
They played me out by keeping all my CPF
So I can’t have a merry Christmas…”

This is what you get when you give a disgruntled theatre uncle and aunty ukuleles and get them Christmas carolling.


Singing to the tune of that Christmas classic “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth”, a song about a young white boy who traded his two front teeth for weed (ok we made that part up, the part about it being a classic), Neo Swee Lin and her husband Lim Kay Siu took to entertaining friends with a cheeky tune about the CPF and how the goal posts for the Retirement Sum keep shifting.

redwire singapore cpf minimum sum
All CPF members (i.e Singaporeans like you and us) can withdraw up to S$5,000 of their CPF savings unconditionally at age 55.

When you turn 65, you can only withdraw the amount in your Retirement Account that is above the Minimum Sum (if you cannot hit the Minimum Sum, you can withdraw expect for zero bucks).

The money in your Retirement Account is then distributed to you in the form a monthly payout, and when you die your surviving spouse/kids receive what’s left of your CPF in cash.

The government says that the rising Minimum Sum, an increase by 3 percent every year) is to account for inflation and some increase in expectations of successive cohorts of retirees for a higher standard of living.

The problem is, 47 percent of Singaporeans in 2016 could not even hit the Minimum Sum (so they got that cheque for zero bucks at age 65).

The other issue, which has been raised umpteen times by Singaporeans, is what happens to an elderly uncle between the age of 55 to 65 if he does not have any savings to last? (Sell tissue or clean NTUC Foodfare tables, anyone?)

Among Singapore’s founding leaders, Dr Toh Chin Chye, said this in parliament about the CPF scheme back when he was still an MP:

“We need to clearly define the boundaries within which the CPF will be used for retirement. We must spell that out. You just cannot say, “Let us raise the withdrawal age to 60 or 65.” It must be 60. It must be 65. Now, at which age? This Paper does not contain any calculation at all to say what will happen if it is withdrawn at 60, or what will happen if it is withdrawn at 65.

“Mr Speaker, I think fundamental principles are being breached. The fundamental principle is this – the CPF is really a fixed deposit or a loan to Government, which can be redeemed at a fixed date when the contributor is 55 years old. If I were to put this sum of money in a commercial bank and, on the due date I go to the bank to withdraw the money, the manager says, “I am sorry, Dr Toh, you will have to come next year”, there will be a run on the bank!

“It is as simple as this, that the CPF has lost its credibility, the management of it. This is fundamental.”

But since we’re still in a holiday mood, let’s forget about Dr Toh and that the next General Election is coming soon, and just sing along with our loopy theatre stalwarts.

 
The lyrics to their All I Want for Christmas is My CPF” song:

All I want for Christmas is my CPF
MY CPF, where’s my CPF
They played me out by keeping all my CPF
So I can’t have a merry Christmas

It seems so long since I could see
All my money in my own possession
They promised me my retirement fund
Now I can’t even question

All I want for Christmas is my CPF
MY CPF, where’s my CPF
They played me out by keeping all my CPF
So I can’t have a merry Christmas

They raise and raise the retirement age
And force us to pay for MediShield
What’s the point if they kept it all
No matter what the yield

All I want for Christmas is my CPF
MY CPF, where’s my CPF

Gee if I could only have my CPF
Then I could wish you Merry Christmas

Then I could wish you Merry Christmas

 

 

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