Singapore sets up advisory panel to study CPF changes

SINGAPORE - A 13-member advisory panel has been set up by the Ministry of Manpower to study possible improvements to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) system.

The panel, which will be led by National University of Singapore (NUS) president Tan Chorh Chuan, was first mentioned during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's National Day Rally speech last month.

It will include members from academia, the financial sector and community organisations to present a broad spectrum of views, the Manpower Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The panel will study four main areas: adjustments to the Minimum Sum beyond 2015, bigger lump-sum withdrawals for CPF members upon retirement, an option for CPF payouts to be lower initially but rise in tandem with inflation, and more flexibility for members to use private investment plans or annuities to supplement their CPF savings.

"The Government has been studying further enhancements to some key aspects of the CPF system to make it more flexible to meet the needs of more Singaporeans and provide additional options in retirement," the ministry said.

The panel will analyse these potential changes, "including the benefits and trade-offs involved", it added.

Apart from Professor Tan, the other panel members from academia are NUS Business School practice professor of finance Joseph Cherian and Singapore Management University Lee Kong Chian School of Business' associate dean Benedict Koh.

Joining the panel from the financial industry are iGlobe Partners operating partner Hauw Soo Hoon, independent actuarial consultant Colin Pakshong, Maybank head of forex research Saktiandi Supaat, and Providend chief executive officer Christopher Tan.

The six remaining members are NTUC Women's Development Secretariat director Sylvia Choo, Singapore Council of Women's Organisations president Malathi Das, Singapore Insurance Employees' Union president Terry Lee, Taman Jurong Citizens' Consultative Committee vice-chairman Muhammad Faizal bin Othman, Braddell Heights Citizens' Consultative Committee chairman Ng Cher Yan, and Dr Tan Bee Wan, executive chairman of Integrative Learning Corporation and ACE (Active, Contributive and Engaged) Seniors.

The panel will convene from September and its initial recommendations will be given early next year, the ministry said. Its full report is expected be completed a year from now.

Members of the public can email their views to the panel at cpf_panel@mom.gov.sg.