More clarity needed on CPF Life payouts

In January, I had requested a copy of the estimated payout from the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Life scheme from the age of 65 to 70.

Last month, I again wrote to the CPF Board for an update of the estimated payout. Since interest would have accrued, I was curious to know what the new increased payout would be.

To my horror, the new estimated payout amount was lower than that in January.

My immediate thought was that there might have been an unauthorised withdrawal from my CPF Retirement Account (RA).

I logged in to my CPF account, and, to my relief, found that the amount in the RA remained untouched.

Feeling puzzled as to why the payout was lower when the RA amount remained the same (without the interest accrued), I wrote to the CPF Board for clarification.

After a few days, a CPF staff member called and explained that the computation method used for the payout in the month of January was different from the one used in July. But he could not explain why, as the computation was carried out by a different department.

I hope that the CPF Board can be more transparent and consistent in the processing of our CPF Life payouts.

It is very difficult for a layman to accept that the same amount in the RA will give a lesser payout as time passes.

This defieslogic. There is interest accrued as time goes by, and so the payout should be more (regardless of how insignificant it is).

Lim Tong Wah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2018, with the headline 'More clarity needed on CPF Life payouts'. Print Edition | Subscribe