Treat CPF as fixed deposit or ATM?

The Sunday Times Invest editor Lorna Tan shared a tip with a 250-strong crowd at the recent askST@NLB talk, held at Library@Orchard. She said, "Before age 55, my game plan is to treat my CPF like a fixed deposit. After 55, it will become my ATM."
Ms Tan spoke on topics such as CPF interest rates, the Retirement Sum Topping-Up Scheme, CPF withdrawals and CPF Life. Her talk was the 11th in the year-long series sponsored by National Library Board, where readers can learn more about topics rangin
Ms Tan spoke on topics such as CPF interest rates, the Retirement Sum Topping-Up Scheme, CPF withdrawals and CPF Life. Her talk was the 11th in the year-long series sponsored by National Library Board, where readers can learn more about topics ranging from finance to education from ST correspondents.PHOTO: NLB

ST Invest editor's talk on CPF draws crowd of 250, with 1,500 more watching live streaming

The Sunday Times Invest editor Lorna Tan shared a tip with a 250-strong crowd who turned up at the askST@NLB talk, held last Friday at Library@Orchard.

Drawing laughter from the audience, she declared: "Before age 55, my game plan is to treat my CPF (Central Provident Fund) like a fixed deposit.

"After 55, it will become an ATM (automated teller machine)."

Titled "What You Need To Know About CPF", her talk was the 11th in the year-long series sponsored by National Library Board (NLB), where readers can learn more about topics ranging from finance to education from ST correspondents.

All the seats were snapped up two weeks earlier.

At the talk, the crowd listened attentively as Ms Tan delved into topics such as CPF interest rates, the Retirement Sum Topping-Up Scheme, CPF withdrawals and CPF Life.

A further 1,500 people watched the live streaming of her talk.

Ms Tan described a quirky habit.

When reading the newspapers' obituary pages, her eyes are drawn to the dead people's ages. Are they younger or older than 65?

The reason for her interest? From age 65, eligible CPF members can start receiving monthly payouts under the CPF Life annuity scheme.

Electrical engineer Low Hong Guanhas previously attended three askST@NLB talks and reads Ms Tan's weekly column in The Sunday Times regularly.

The 43-year-old said: "The talk was very insightful, with a lot of useful information that some of us might be unaware of."

After the talk, he asked Ms Tan if he could transfer the equivalent lump sum in cash that he had used to buy his property into his CPF account to earn more interest.

He found out he could not do so as he had not withdrawn from his CPF savings to purchase his property.

Madam Jo C., 70, a retired teacher, found the part on CPF nominations particularly enlightening.

She said: "Lorna mentioned that CPF savings cannot be distributed by a will, and that the Public Trustee's Office will charge for administering un-nominated CPF money.

"I didn't know that previously, that's why this talk is important."

She added that the talk was informative, and Ms Tan was a clear speaker. The next askST@NLB talk will be given by ST assistant sports editor Rohit Brijnath on April 28.

His topic is "An Athlete's Life: It's A Crazy One".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 03, 2017, with the headline 'Treat CPF as fixed deposit or ATM?'. Print Edition | Subscribe