Cow Beh Cow Bu

Uncle Give Up Liao: “Just Return Me the CPF Money I Put In, Rest You Decide Lah”

When I retire, I want to dye my hair purple and start a goat farm in the west of Singapore with my childhood buddy, Jack, where we’ll drink beer and watch Asia’s Next Top Model while our wives milk the goats.

Jokes aside, I’d rather dye my hair green.

Still, how am I going to do all that without my CPF savings?

It’s people like me that make NMP Chia Yong Yong sceptical whether I should have the right to spend my CPF money the way I’d like to spend it.

Oh wait, it’s not entirely my CPF money, even though it’s in my CPF account.

I can’t be frivolous about using the money because it’s accumulated through co-payments by employers and top-ups from the government.


Grandfather Story

My grandfather died some time back at 60 years old.

Going by today’s CPF withdrawal requirements, he wouldn’t receive any monthly payouts at all, save for that one-time S$5000 withdrawal above the minimum sum we need to lock up in our accounts until we hit 62 years old.

Hopefully I outlive him.

But if I don’t, I’d like some time at least to spend my hard-earned money.

The part of the CPF which I contributed, at least.

Take away the government’s interest on the money too.

No Goat Farm

I just want to take out that amount I put in over more than 30 years of my working life, so I can use it to enjoy myself for a bit, give some to my kids to help them with rising cost of living, and save the rest for medical bills should I need to treat my ailments with better medicine not covered by MediShield Life.

Of course, I’ll continue working because my wife will never have me in the house 24/7 – we’ll drive each other crazy.

Surely that sounds pretty reasonable, right?

And hopefully it pleases NMP Chia Yong Yong, who said in parliament,

“I know at the end of the day, that because I’m not the only person contributing to the fund, I cannot be the only person to call the shots as to how I am going to spend it. At the very least, I have a moral obligation to spend it wisely.”


If the government won’t pay for welfare to help those elderly who squander their CPF money, then why are people like me paying for it with a total lock-up?

I find that morally lacking.

But, I see where NMP Chia Yong Yong (it’s a pretty catchy name) is coming from.

It wouldn’t be very fair that taxpayer’s money is used to fund those old folk who anyhow spend their savings, for example throwing it all on dice games in a Geylang back alley.

If I told my son that for every dollar you pay in taxes, 15 cents will be used to pay for grand-uncle’s nightly binge-drinking, he’s going to start thinking of hiding his piggy bank cash in some offshore account in the Cayman Islands!

How About This?

So why not we reach a compromise, NMP Chia Yong Yong?

The part of the CPF money which I put in is mine, and I should be allowed to take it out the day I retire.

All of it.

The rest – the other uncles in the gahmen can keep and disburse it in monthly payouts from whatever age baseline they set.

This way, there’s a buffer so I won’t put a potential burden on taxpayers of the future, and I get to enjoy some of the fruits of labour.

In Sum

I don’t want to die “young” like my grandfather, and not be able to touch my money and say, “This is mine. This is what I slogged day and night for. I earned it.”

At least, give me that one chance to pat myself on the back and take a break.

I promise, if I do start that goat farm with Jack, we won’t make our wives milk the goats while we sip beer and watch bimbos bitch on TV.

That would be sexist.

We’ll get the maid to do it.


Redwire Editor John Wong is just another one of those confused “uncles” who doesn’t know who exactly his CPF money belongs to now. And that makes him pretty fed up.


For those who are interested, this is the excerpt from NMP Chia Yong Yong’s speech parliament on CPF savings which has spurred much discussion:

“In relation to the use of CPF money, we have heard proponents who say that the CPF monies is theirs. “It’s our money, it’s in our account, it’s our retirement money. I want it out, I will spend it anyway we want.” Fine. Is it our money? Our CPF savings are enhanced and forced CPF savings which are accumulated through our own deferred consumption, through co-payment by our employers and through top-ups from public funds. Is it really my private money? Do I have the right to spend it the way I would spend my own salary? I’m not entirely sure.

I know at the end of the day, that because I’m not the only person contributing to the fund, I cannot be the only person to call the shots as to how I am going to spend it. At the very least, I have a moral obligation to spend it wisely. Why do I say that? Because if I’m not judicious in my spending at the end of the day, who’s going to maintain me in my twilight years – the state? Who? Ultimately it means someone else is bearing it right, another taxpayer. So if I’m not judicious and I’m arguing this is my money, I’m not going to be responsible in my use and if I argue this is your money, you use it anyway you want – I’m not responsible as a citizen.”

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