Changes proposed to ease CPF transfers to parents, grandparents

The changes will allow CPF members to make such transfers if they have at least the Basic Retirement Sum. PHOTO: ST FILE

More people may soon be able to help their elders save for retirement.

Changes to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Act have been proposed in Parliament to lower the minimum amount that members must have in their own CPF accounts before making transfers to their parents and grandparents.

Currently, CPF members must meet the prevailing Full Retirement Sum - which is $166,000 for CPF members aged 55 this year - before they can transfer extra savings to their parents' or grandparents' accounts.

Members aged above 55 need to meet the retirement sum specified for their cohort.

The changes proposed by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday will allow CPF members to make such transfers if they have at least the Basic Retirement Sum - which is half the full sum - and a sufficient property pledge or charge to make up the rest of the full sum.

The ministry said in a press statement that the aim is to improve the retirement adequacy of CPF members.

Last year, the threshold to make transfers to a spouse's CPF account was lowered to the basic sum, instead of the full sum.

MOM also proposed changes to the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act yesterday.

It wants the Commissioner for WSH to be allowed to publish "learning reports" on accidents, dangerous occurrences or occupational diseases being investigated, even before the investigation is over.

This would provide speedier warnings or recommendations to others on the potential dangers, as the reports can cover factors leading to the incidents or diseases; expert opinions; and recommendations to prevent such cases or minimise the likelihood of them recurring.

The reports will not be admissible as evidence in court, except for cases such as official inquiry commissions or committees.

The proposed amendments to the two laws are scheduled to be debated at the next sitting.

Mr Ron Ng, 41, a sales manager in the bioscience industry, feels that lowering the threshold for CPF transfers to elders would be a good move as it will give him more channels to help his parents grow their retirement savings.

The father of two added that he hopes the proposed changes can encourage filial piety among the younger generation. "If my children see what I'm doing for my parents, hopefully they will also pick up good values."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2017, with the headline Changes proposed to ease CPF transfers to parents, grandparents. Subscribe