'Money in CPF account is your money': Tan Chuan-Jin

SINGAPORE - The Manpower Minister has stoutly defended the Central Provident Fund (CPF) system that has come under attack online.

"The CPF is put in place to help Singaporeans have peace of mind when it comes to their retirement years," wrote Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin in a blog on Sunday night.

Apart from retirement, CPF savings have helped Singaporeans own homes and cover healthcare expenses, said Mr Tan. "Many of us are already using our CPF monies to fund expenses that would otherwise have come from our disposable income."

"Money in your CPF account is your money," the minister added.

On the CPF Minimum Sum, Mr Tan said: "The Minimum Sum is increasing because we are living longer so we need to spread out our payouts."

In his blog, Mr Tan also sought to dispel misperceptions about the Minimum Sum.

Those who reach 55 can withdraw a portion of their CPF savings after setting aside the Minimum Sum, but those who do not meet it will not have to top up the shortfall in cash, he said.

Overall, the CPF system is a good and fair one that is "a more sustainable system than most other retirement schemes... (and) CPF Funds are absolutely safe", Mr Tan said.