How Much CPF Do Singaporeans Have?: Government Does Not Want Us To Know

Last week, I attended the Forum on CPF and Retirement Adequacy, organised by the Institute of Policy Studies. I had posed some questions to the Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin.

Earlier this month, in parliament, the Manpower Minister revealed that “50% of ‘active’ CPF members met the Minimum Sum in 2013”. However, this only refers to (1) ‘active’ members’ who were able to meet the Minimum Sum (2) “in cash plus property”.

However, this information is not useful as:

  • First, Singaporeans will not be able to retire on both the cash and the property. We will only be able to use the cash portion to retire on.
  • Second, we should not just look at ‘active’ members, as it is ‘all’ Singaporeans who would need to use our CPF to retire on.

The Manpower Minister did further admit to some information for the first time. He admitted that of the 50% of ‘active’ CPF members who were able to meet the Minimum Sum, this includes:

  • 15% who used their properties to support up to half of the CPF Minimum Sum
  • 23% of Singaporeans who turned 55 in 2013 were inactive CPF members, while the remaining 77% were active members or self-employed

This gave us slightly more clarity, but the information is still not complete. The government still did not want to reveal directly how many of (1) ‘all’ CPF members are able to the meet the Minimum Sum (2) in cash only.

85% Of Singaporeans Are Not Able To Meet The CPF Minimum Sum

However, with the information the government finally admits to earlier this month, we are able to come out with a more accurate estimate. According to Leong Sze Hian, he calculated the following:

  • Of the 77% who were active members or self-employed, assuming that 17% were self-employed, this would mean the 60% are ‘active’ members.
  • As the government had said that “50% of ‘active’ CPF members met the Minimum Sum”, this would mean that only 30% of all CPF members were able to meet the Minimum Sum.
  • And since this includes “15% who used their properties to support up to half of the CPF Minimum Sum”, this would mean that only 15% of all CPF members were able to meet the Minimum Sum in cash only.

Only 15% of All CPF Members Can Meet CPF Minimum Sum

As such, with this information, Leong Sze Hian was able to work out a more accurate estimate that 85% of Singaporeans were actually not able to meet the Minimum Sum. Why is this information important?

This is because the government said that the Minimum Sum is the amount needed to “get a monthly payout of about $1,200 in 10 years’ time when (a person) reach(es) age 65”. The government said that this is calculated based on how much a “lower-middle income household would spend on daily living”.

Thus if 85% of Singaporeans are unable to meet the Minimum Sum, this would mean that 85% of Singaporeans would not even be able to receive a monthly payout of $1,200, or not even be able to live the most basically, that is required for a lower-middle income household.

It is thus important for Singaporeans to know how many of  ‘all’ Singaporeans exactly are able to meet the Minimum Sum in cash only.

(Note: Leong Sze Hian had also highlighted that Singaporeans would now only be withdraw our cash balances from the CPF after we are able to meet both the CPF Minimum Sum and Medisave Minimum Sum. This means that Singaporeans would now need to have $198,500 inside the CPF before we are able to withdraw our own money. According to Leong Sze Hian, he estimated that less than 10% of Singaporeans would be able to reach this amount. It was also revealed at the forum yesterday that the median cash balance of active CPF members aged 55 is $126,000, when including our property. This means that since the majority of Singaporeans have drastically less than the $198,500 minimum amount required, the majority of us will have our CPF monies stuck inside the CPF!)

Questions To The Manpower Minister: How Many Singaporeans Are Able To Meet The CPF Minimum Sum In Cash And How Much Do We Have In The CPF?

As such, I had asked the Manpower Minister the following question:

The government has said that half of ‘active’ CPF mebers at age 55 are able to meet the CPF Minimum Sum with “cash and property”. We hear today (at the forum) that the median cash balance of active CPF members aged 55 is $126,000, before factoring in savings withdrawn for the accumulation of housing assets. The government has also said that CPF members have to use 55% of their CPF Ordinary Account on housing.

My question is the following.

  1. First, what is the proportion of (1) ‘all’ CPF members who are able to meet the CPF Minimum Sum (2) in cash only?
  2. Second, what is the median CPF balance for ‘all’ CPF members, taking into account only absolute cash in the CPF?
  3. And third, what is the median CPF payout for ‘all’ CPF members?

The Manpower Minister side-stepped these questions. These questions were not answered at all.

Questions to The Manpower Minister: Will The Government Consider Increasing Wages And The CPF Interest Rate?

I also asked the following question:

Minister, you have also pointed out that the parameters for the CPF’s accumulation is the frequency of work wages, contribution rates, rates of returns, withdrawals, Draw Down age and payout quantum.

Thus far, the government has increased the CPF contribution rates and asked Singaporeans to work longer to increase the Draw Down age.

However, at a time where wages and the CPF interest rates have grown much slower than the CPF Minimum Sum and where the National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wah had admitted that the government controls the construction program and the prices of HDB flats, will the government consider:

  1. Implementing a minimum wage and increase wages in tandem with the CPF Minimum Sum?
  2. Increase the CPF interest rates in tandem with the CPF Minimum Sum?
  3. Moderate housing prices

to ensure that Singaporeans will be able to truly accumulate wealth in our CPF?

The Manpower Minister side-stepped these questions. These questions were not answered at all.

The Today newspaper later reported that the government was looking into reviewing the CPF interest rates, but later clarified that, “This is wrong. The Government is reviewing ways to better buffer the CPF against inflation and CPF interest rates is one of the ways currently used to guard against inflation.”

I will leave you to decide if the questions posed are of importance, and whether the lack of answers from the government is acceptable.

Why Does The Government Not Want To Increase Our Wages And CPF Interest Rates?

The questions that I had asked were basic questions which the government should have ready answers for.

  • How many Singaporeans are able to meet the CPF Minimum Sum in cash?
  • What is the median CPF balance for each Singaporean?
  • What is the median CPF payout?

These are questions that any responsible fund manager should have answers for. I am thus perplexed that the government does not have the information to this, or has rather chosen not to inform Singaporeans of this. It is our every right to know, as a Singaporean, and because the CPF is our money, as the government has claimed.

Also, in considering how to increase our CPF, there are many tools at the government’s disposal and the minister had detailed some of them at the forum. Yet, when asked why the government would only adopt some measures, but not others, it is unacceptable that the government would choose to ignore these questions. Singaporeans have every right to know why the government does not want to increase our wages and the CPF interest rates to increase our CPF, but would keep asking Singaporeans to work longer instead.

3rd Edition Of The #ReturnOurCPF Event: Why Singaporeans Cannot Retire Because Of The HDB

We have to keep up the pressure on the government. They have admitted to many truths since June this year about how they are actually using our CPF. But they are still holding back on crucial information about our CPF.

On 23 August, we will be organising the third edition of the #ReturnOurCPF event. In the first edition on June 7, we revealed to you the truths that the government has finally admitted to how they are using our CPF to invest in the GIC. In the second edition on 12 July, we exposed further truths about the exact number of Singaporeans who were not able to meet the CPF Minimum Sum.

Join us at the third edition as we reveal even more glaring facts about how our CPF is being used by the HDB and for housing, and find out why Singaporeans are not able to retire adequately, because of the HDB.

You can join the Facebook event page here.

Also, my first court case will be held on 18 September 2014, at 10.00am. It will be a full-day hearing.

Return Our CPF 3 Poster Template with Text edited with Title

Return Our CPF 3 Poster Template with Text edited with Title@Chinese

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120 comments

  1. Florence

    Lee corruption has been essentially in a publicly issues. Just a matter of time , he gave himself astronomical salary established, but most people do not have a minimum source of livelihood, even could not afford to birth a child, it is an heinous. if his resignation would be a good thing for singaporean, please do so.

  2. Mohammed

    thumbs up ! we are multiracial country, we denounce on corruption of Temasek Holdings offenses, we have only one voice, that is one people one nation , and one singapore .

  3. The Oracle

    Has Roy considered that many “inactive” CPF members would in fact be spouses and their active husbands (mostly, and some wives) would in fact meet the minimum sum? This has a major impact on the numbers he presents. While a couple does not live as cheaply as a single person, they typically can live on a lot less than two individuals (multiple studies support this). More information is required before drawing some of the conclusions reached.

  4. tan

    Dude, many people don’t have enough in their cod account is because they use as much as possible to invest in property. They can always down grade their property when they retirement brand become millionaires. .

  5. jasmine

    Nowadays both spouses need to work in order to pay for the overpriced HDB flat. I think the figures by Leong SH is accurate. If the PAP faction disagree, please support with statistics instead of blowing hot air.

      • The Oracle

        LSH chart is based on incorrect conclusions as I demonstrate in my other posts on this blog. Keep your insults and let me correct myself – instead of stats (lies) where are your facts?

      • jasmine

        Hey Oreo, all your other posts has been debunked by us. Any discerning readers can tell that your are the liar with pants on fire. Keep the corrections to yourself.

      • The Oracle

        It’s the other way around Jasmine – I keep finding huge holes in Roy’s half truths and you know it.

    • NoelTin

      What make you think HDB is overpriced? are you buying something that you cannot afford and blame others because you need a bigger house to show off? I myself earning 3k/month are able to pay for my 4A flat which i brought for 225k and still having saving after all expense paid. if both couple earning 2500/month CPF will have $1800 of that you purchase a non mature 4 Room (not needed but for family planning) is about 250000 and if you do a rough calculation 250000/25yr/12month = 833.33 and we can always add 10% = 920. actually u do have enough to pay for HDB and when you grow old and change to a smaller flat you get money inside your cpf again and you will reach min sum and still have a home? Why do pple can’t do calculation themself and have to depend on some lies to make them believe they can’t afford HDB ??

      • jasmine

        For you info, overpriced means it cost more than what it is worth. HDB pay contractor $100,000 to build a 4-room flat. They sell it to us at $300,000. Whether you can afford it is no consequence to the meaning of overpriced. For example, I pay $8.50 to buy a movie ticket, then I sell it to you at $850. Sure you can afford it, but will you buy from me?

      • The Oracle

        Some real cost facts:

        Some actual BTO contracts awarded:
        Sengkang (698 units) $123 million, awarded June 2008
        Queenstown (1,394 units) $188 million, awarded June 2008
        Hougang (792 units) $113 million, awarded August 2011
        Bukit Panjang (862 units) $137 million, awarded August 2012

        So the average cost of construction for a HDB unit is about $150,000. This ignores surveying, design, project financing, project management, selling and marketing, etc, overheads that HDB would have so the final cost (exclusive of land) would be circa 20% higher at $180,000 each unit – and these units are a mix of 2-room to 4-room.

  6. The Oracle

    I also think it is wrong to say 85% cannot meet minimum sum by completely excluding all home equity.

    At retirement or later there are multiple options open to all Singaporean home owners (fact: over 90% of all Singapore households own their home) – agreed though many are asset rich but cash poor:
    1) Sell unit and either move into smaller unit or in with children.
    2) Enhanced Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS) where the HDB unit owner sells part of the flat’s lease to HDB and retains a 30-year lease. Fair to say this hasn’t proved so popular (less than 400 took this option) as what happens if they live past 30 years?
    3) Reverse mortgage scheme coming – also unlock equity while remaining in same home. Details not finalised.
    4) Rent out room – make extra income if you have a spare room.

    These are not unrealistic options for many Singaporeans and it is incorrect to say 85% will not have enough at retirement.

    • Xmen

      “fact: over 90% of all Singapore households own their home”

      Correction – Most of them are not paid off. If you are on an installment plan, you are not the owner until the loan is paid off.

      • The Oracle

        Where do you get your “most” from? As far as I can tell from reading various sites and newspaper articles, of the circa 260,000 Singaporean HDB households where one partner is aged 55 and above, over 200,000 own their flat without any mortgage. Of the remainder, even if they have a mortgage outstanding it is typically a small part of the overall value of the unit – meaning there is still significant equity value that may be unlocked.

        Check your facts before quoting your prejudices.

        I am NOT saying there aren’t cases where people do not have enough for their retirement, but Roy’s numbers are grossly incorrect.

      • Xmen

        “fact: over 90% of all Singapore households…” Where does it say 55 year and above? How about 100% of people who paid off their loans own their flat? If you look at all Singaporeans living in HDB, I will be surprised if more than 50% are fully paid off.

      • The Oracle

        50% sounds about right for the % who have paid off their mortgages.

        However, he blog posting from Roy is about CPF at 55 – not about the 20+, 30+ and 40+ year olds still paying off their mortgages. The fact remains that about 80% have paid off the mortgage on their home by age 55.

  7. Javert

    So LSH is literally pulling numbers from thin air (“assuming that 17% were self-employed”) and failing in simple mathematics now.

    He’s assuming that 100% of non-active CPF members “cannot meet the minimum sum”, and lumps them up together into a ridiculous 70%, despite having zero evidence for that.

    It’s not too late to turn back and repent, Roy. LSH is feeding you lies but ultimately it’s you who’ll (literally) be paying the price. I doubt he’s going to foot your bill, and even another $80k from random internet people won’t cover your damages and legal expenses.

    • Xmen

      So where are your factual numbers? You will do everyone a great service by providing real numbers instead of ranting here.

      • The Oracle

        @Xmen
        You are the perennial ranter and despite being given facts you choose to ignore them. Facts:
        – Over 90% of Singaporean households own their own homes
        – Over 200,000 of the approximately 260,000 HDB households over 55 own their unit outright – no mortgage.
        – Of those with mortgages, the remaining mortgage is typically a small percentage of the overall value of the unit.
        – Roy “forgets” to mention How income can be derived from a person’s HDB unit.
        – He also forgets that CPF and HDB units are not the only savings of many Singaporeans – many have other cash savings, shares, other properties, etc.

        Yes, there is a percentage of people who do not have enough for retirement but is nearer 15% rather than 85% when all their assets and options are properly considered and not just the CPF cash component.

        There are lies, damned lies and statistics – and Roy has mastered this art.

      • Xmen

        @Oracle,

        I don’t have to dispute your “fact” that “Over 90% of Singaporean households own their own homes.” Let the readers be the judge! LOL.

        Where do you get the 85% (percentage of people who have enough for retirement)? If you are right, Roy will not have much support and why are you so busy posting here? Oh, I see, you meant to say 85% of people making over $100k a year have enough for retirement… ROFL

      • The Oracle

        @Xmen.
        I see you are drawing your “facts” as usual out of thin air (while Roy took an extremely narrow slice of Singaporeans’ wealth to draw his conclusions).

        Some basic real facts that you can confirm by researching elsewhere:
        1) Over 90% of Singaporeans own their own home (with or without mortgage).
        2) By age 55, 80% of these Singaporeans have paid off any mortgage.
        3) Implied from 1 and 2 above, approximately 72% of all Singaporeans own their own home without a mortgage at age 55 (90% x 80%) and, given that the average HDB unit is worth about $300,000, this group can be considered to have enough for retirement.
        4) Of the remaining 20% who own their home with a mortgage at age 55, the mortgage is typically small as they may have bought circa 20 years ago at much lower prices, and they would have paid off much of the loan in the interim. I would like to see the exact statistics on this but I suspect that significantly more than 50% of this group has $200,000 or more of equity value in their home – well over the CPF minimum sum.
        5) The above ignores the fact many will continue working until 65 or so, also ignores CPF, ignores other cash savings, and ignores any other cash, equity or property investments people may have made – which will increase the 80+% identified in points 1-4 above to circa 85+% leaving circa 15% who may not have enough to retire – and this again ignores the case of parents moving in with children, etc.

        QED: My 15% is a lot more real than Roy’s 85%.

      • Xmen

        You need to be more critical when doing research…

        First, you claim that 80% of HDB owner have paid off their mortgage by age 55. What about those who don’t own HDB flat? I’m sure you know of some seniors living with their children (you can’t have both parents and children own the flat, right?). What about those seniors “renting” or living in government subsidized housing? This number is definitely nonzero and may well exceed 10% of senior population. Your conclusion (QED) is not so conclusive now, agreed?

        Now, let’s check out your source at singstat –

        http://www.singstat.gov.sg/statistics/latest_data.html#20

        Number of resident households = 1,174,500
        Average Household Size = 3.47
        Total number of people = 1,174,500 x 3.47 = 4,075,515

        So it appears that housing data includes citizens and PRs (even though another table shows that number at 3,844,800).

        My questions about the above data where it shows 90.5% home ownership –

        1. Household size of 3.47 seems high given the low TPR. It appears to include multi-generation households. Some senior people definitely do not own the HDB flat.
        2. The data includes non-citizens. What are the relevant numbers for citizens?
        3. The percentage of HDB owners living in 3- or fewer room flats is 24%. Many of these people will likely have insufficient retirement savings. So are the people living/renting in subsidized flats.
        4. The 90.5 HDB ownership rate does not say anything about paid off mortgages. The “ownership” part is a little misleading. It would be nice to know the number of paid off mortgages.
        5. Note that the data will likely be very different (worst) in 20 years when the current middle-age citizens approach retirement.
        6. Finally, your 15% “conclusion” is overly optimistic given the number of CPF accounts failing to meet the minimum sum.

        I hope the above helps.

    • supporter

      Analysis has missing 3 key evidence: 1) the Prime Minister’s wife is the boss of Temasek Holdings. 2) Temasek venture capital fund from the people’s CPF. 3) CPF owners no share from Temasek .

  8. Mrs. Goh

    Lee Kuan Yew shift our cpf into his daughter-in-law’s pocket permanently. he used the cover of prime minister, playing grab of Singaporeans wealth , no plan to return . such things are done out immoral . he has become the first terrorist threatening the lives of Singaporean. Singaporean appeal from worldwide the real justice , save the people of Singapore.

  9. Let's Keep This Debate Simple

    + Vote Opposition if you want your CPF money return back to you at age 55 years old.
    + Vote PAP if you want to keep your CPF money with the PAP government under a set of “evolving” (i.e. constantly changing) rules until age 85 years old.

  10. WP

    Using property to pledge and thereby reducing the minimum sum by half is ok, why the study insist on finding out the percentage of people can fulfill minimum sum by cash only?

  11. Deaf Frog's Toothpick

    If i have to choose between Goh Chok Tong and Lee Hsien Loong as PM, i choose Goh Chok Tong.

    Goh Chok Tong era did not have:

    1. the worst floods in recent sg history

    2. worst unauthorised strike in recent sg history by bus drivers

    3. worst riots in recent sg history by FTs in little india

    4. worst mrt breakdown record in recent sg history, breakdowns are becoming something which is so frequent, the newspaper do not even bother to put it on the front page anymore.

    I do not believe in rewarding bad outcomes.

    I hope PAP can get Mr Goh Chok Tong to come back to become PM, or give Teo Chee Hean a chance.

    • PAP Does Not Have A Monopoly On Wisdom

      It’s time to change government.
      It’s time to vote out PAP.

      Goh Chok Tong or Teo Chee Hean is just more of the same.
      PAP cannot change.
      PAP will never let us have our CPF money back at age 55.

      Vote wisely.
      One minute in the polling booth in GE 2016.
      One minute … and you will have CPF money back at age 55.

      • Deaf Frog's Toothpick

        @ supporter

        yup, Goh Chok Tong actually delivered better performance at a lower pay, i hope PAP supporters can give feedback to their HQ to bring him back.

        if he is designated as the next PM and contesting in the ward i live in, I would surely vote for him if he is contesting against Lee Hsien Loong.

    • More Old PAP Men As Leaders

      You want to replace Lee Hsien Loong with Gih Chok Tong or Teo Chee Hean?
      Are you serious?
      Where are all the new leaders that LKY claims he has been mentoring?
      – Have we misunderstood the word “Mentor” in “Mentor Minister”
      – I want my money back because I don’t see any leaders within PAP.
      – Just old men and half baked young people

  12. V

    Keep questioning, Roy. You may or may not be correct, but you did the right thing by questioning and get us all thinking.
    Whether you are right or wrong, let it be proved.
    We, people, will judge for ourselves.

  13. 为总理汗颜

    按道理,总理应该主动向国人报告, 财政的钱到底去了哪里 ?而不是等这位年轻人来替他找数据, 总理的薪水应该分一半给这位年轻人 。我们为光拿钱不做事的总理汗颜。

    再按常理,总理已经累计高达千万元薪水, 不该再让自己的老婆走上领取千万薪水的淡马锡控股,你们贪的太深,还不准别人发声,你们不但有罪,也丢尽华人的脸。 我们要求李总理立刻下台。

      • 建国一代的孙子

        怎么样, 新加坡是我老李的,我抢光新加坡,你们敢怎么样 ? 我老李两只手抢不够, 要4只手,还不够,6只手一起抢啦, 为我孙子的孙子的孙子, 我要敢敢抢, 什么, 建国一代的孙子 ? 去吃草啊, 我 charge 你一根草一块啊 . 住哪里 ?住芳林公园啦。

  14. mustafa

    If the government does does not give a single cent for housing as mention in the above article why is HDB in deficit of more than 700 million and the government has to provide grant of 1 billion? Why does Roy put up the statement when it is factually incorrect? Roy proposed to increase the wage of workers, how does he propose to do that? Does he mean that employers would have to pay more to their employees with the enactment of a law? What is the impact on businessses which is the source of employment? Is there any negative long term effect other than the “positive” impact of higher wages? What do you think?

    • A Real Billionaire's Answer Mustafa

      “The model for us rich guys here should be Henry Ford, who realized that all his autoworkers in Michigan weren’t only cheap labor to be exploited; they were consumers, too. Ford figured that if he raised their wages, to a then-exorbitant $5 a day, they’d be able to afford his Model Ts.

      What a great idea. My suggestion to you is: Let’s do it all over again. We’ve got to try something. These idiotic trickle-down policies are destroying my customer base. And yours too.”

      Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014_Page2.html#ixzz38sG3Z9uC

      • A Real Billionaire's Answer Mustafa

        “Which is why the fundamental law of capitalism must be: If workers have more money, businesses have more customers. Which makes middle-class consumers, not rich businesspeople like us, the true job creators. Which means a thriving middle class is the source of American prosperity, not a consequence of it. The middle class creates us rich people, not the other way around.”

        Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014_Page2.html#ixzz38sGX7adM

      • mustafa

        Ford is a company Singapore is a country with millions of inhabitants. America is a large country which can provide a large local demand whereas Singapore is small, it does not have a vast hinterland. Do you think its that simple? Actually I looking forward to his clarifications on the HDB? I am not sure he would want to answer that.

      • A Real Singaporean's Answer To Mustafa

        “Ford is a company Singapore is a country with millions of inhabitants. America is a large country which can provide a large local demand whereas Singapore is small, it does not have a vast hinterland.”

        So what’s your point?
        – Singapore is a small country, so Singaporeans have to hand over our savings to the PAP government?
        OR
        – Singapore has millions of inhabitants so our leaders have to be paid millions in salary to manage such a large country?

        Cherry picking your facts is it?

      • A Real Singaporean's Answer To Mustafa

        The real question is “How does it benefit me, the Singaporean, to vote PAP?”
        – Does PAP, LKY and LHL have the monopoly on wisdom about what is good for Singaporeans and Singapore?

      • mustafa aka sopian

        Dear Real Singapore, you are angry because you have to hand over your money to CPF. Do you want to scrap CPF? Would there be a housing problem in future? Is that what you want? It may be good for you but not for the many Singaporeans out there. PAP, LKY and LHL does not have the monopoly to wisdom, they have made misteps but you have to agree that they have made much good than bad under the constrains that we are in. Would you agree with the above statement? I would hope Roy would answer some of these questions.

    • Xmen

      “If the government does does not give a single cent for housing as mention in the above article why is HDB in deficit of more than 700 million and the government has to provide grant of 1 billion?”

      Good question. Let’s say the government bills HDB exorbitant (“market”) rate for the land. If you reduce the land cost, HDB will be flush with cash instead of having a deficit. But then the government will be losing land revenue, or country’s “reserve”. It is a zero sum game. Either the excess money goes to the left hand (people) or the right hand (government.) Why do you think Singapore has the highest per capita reserve in the world?

      • jasmine

        Agree with you totally. The reported deficit is just a numbers game to mislead. They are the masters at this round tripping, fund transfer, left hand to right hand model. Even Khong Hee cannot match.

      • mustafa aka sopian

        Are you implying that a mojor proportion of our reserves comes from the selling of land? Does that mean the financial reserve of the country depends on its land mass? You are implying that price of a HDB flat should not include the land cost and only constructions costs? That does mean a new flat in Toa Payoh should cost the same as a simlar flat in Lim Chu Kang? I am sure the land has some value before the flat is constructed hence a reserve, does that mean the land will have zero value when HDB flats are built? Should not a person pay some value of the land depending on its location? If the government has sold the land to a private developer we would have gained much more profits and reserves. Wouldnt you agree that a person buying the flat should pay some monies for the land? Wouldnt you agree that on the whole the sale of HDB flats to its citizens are reducing our monetary reserves. Is that not a form of subsidy overall whether the money goes to the left or the right?

      • Xmen

        Pricing of a HDB is not as simple as removing the land costs. As you mentioned, a flat in Toa Payoh will be in more demand than one in Lim Chu Kang. However, the government is charging FAR too much on land designated for PUBLIC housing. Please note that Singapore’s PUBLIC housing cost is higher than the PRIVATE housing cost in many developed countries. The government can keep the cost of PUBLIC housing low even when private housing costs far more. That will leave more disposable income for HDB dwellers. The current PUBLIC housing policy is building up massive reserves that dwarf other countries on a per capita basis. It also deprives/depletes people of their current incomes and retirement savings.

      • Mustafa aka Soapian

        Dear Xmen whivh deveoped country are you referring to? America? They have million of hetares of land or Australia? How many millions of hectares of land is available here in Singapore? Is it fair to compare public housing in Singapore, an island but well connected with transportaion and facilities with that of other countries private housing where land is plentiful but may be far from public amenities? Should your question be, can the government provide more subsidies in housing for the people? The land cost should not be in the picture at all. If you increase the subsidy the gap in price between the public housing and private housing will widen. Is that good? The gap between the price of new flats and HDB flats in the open market may even be wider.Is that good? Yes good for the new HDB dwellers as the price is further subsidised and they can get even more profits by reselling their new flats in the open market after some time. Would most Singaporeans accept this as for some or many, this opportunity is closed for them? The reserves of Singapore is just not our land but all other assets financial or otherwise in and out of Singapore. I dont think the massive reserves come form selling subsidised land to our citizens. Imagine that you have a $100 000 plot of land that you can sell to a foreign or local buyer but instead you sell it to your sibllings for $10 000 because he cannot afford it. If you sell it to a buyer you gain $100 000 which you can put in a bank to save on a rainy day. You can spend it on welfare programs that can benefit all your other siblings and relatives. You can give loan or donation to those in need. If you sell it to your sibling even though he is poor he would have gained $90 000 in asset value. You now have only $10 000 to save or spend for your welfare programs. What would you do? Would you sell it to your sibling at more than $10 000 or less? What would you do?

      • Xmen

        I’m going to keep my reply short. There are PUBLIC housing in many cities and countries. Almost all of them are heavily subsidized. You (or the government) can study how public housing is provided there. I’m sure you will find a workable solution to Singapore’s high priced HDB flats.

        As to your “donation” question, Singapore does not have a real welfare program as compared to all developed countries. This is evident in its budget.

    • The Oracle

      @Mustafa
      I have to disagree with your implied stance, at least partly.

      While higher wages can impact business and growth in Singapore, that has to be balanced against the fact that employers typically have the power in any wage negotiations with employees – especially at the lower end of the market. It is the job of government and the trade unions to protect this group of workers in particular and ensure they get a fair wage for the job performed.

      The flip side is, if wages are raised too high, employers will use automation and better work practices to reduce the numbers of people needed, or their businesses will not grow, or they will contract, or even go out of business (by whichever means, the result is the same – less jobs and more unemployed).

      We only have to look at Europe today to see how minimum wage laws combined with an economic recession have led to extremely high numbers of people being unemployed. On the other hand, I think it is unjust that some Singaporeans have to work for less than $5 per hour and, while the government’s recent moves to raise security and cleaning salaries is a step in the right direction, more can be done. We have to find a better balance.

  15. A Real Singaporean's Answer To Mustafa

    Do I really think it’s that simple?
    Yes.
    But then again, I don’t have to make things complicated and difficult to justify a multi-million dollar salary.

    I think PAP Ministers have been adopting too many of the “best” pricing practices of management CONsultants.

    • 他要挤干你的最后一滴血

      hello
      you think, I think, she think, he think, they think, is any good life thinking about the younger generation, kids, old people, they even have no enough to eat, never feel the decency of life, only Roy and huihui speak here, but in your parliament, never happened, never !

    • mustafa aka sopian

      Only Roy ask here , how come no opposition MPs ask the same questions in parliament. And to the real Singapore, by the way are u Roy? to me things a complicated, I rather pay a million bucks rather than regret later. Better be safe than sorry LOL. Are you will to gamble our future by paying less?

      • 他要挤干你的最后一滴血

        reply to mustafa aka sopian,
        if you have ten million? you don’t eat, don’t drink & moved to Prime Minister Lee’s home, that’s your business if your wife no problem , Singaporeans will not meddle with you.
        But, if you don’t have, by accumulated the people’s CPF, the first deceitful, then perpetrating a fraud. said Temasek is Lee family ‘s the property , apparently engaged in fraud thing.
        你有一千万 ?你不吃不渴全部给李总理搬回家 ? 那是你的事喔,如果你老婆不问,新加坡人不会管你的闲事。但是如果你自己没有半分钱,靠把人民的CPF堆起来,先移花接木,再偷梁换柱。说淡马锡控股的财产是李家的,显然是在搞诈骗嘛。

      • Mustafa aka Soapian

        If you give me ten million I will definitely eat, drink, sleep and go for holiday.

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  17. NoelTin

    TITLE: “How Much CPF Do Singaporeans Have?: Government Does Not Want Us To Know”

    Please check your own account and you will know how much you have.
    And what with the title that Government Does not want us to know??? Stop your illusion….
    and if you want to know all of the CPF then I ask you one question.

    WHO THE HECK YOU ARE TO KNOW HOW MUCH CPF I HAVE?

    • jasmine

      Hey idiot, he is asking the aggregate amount, not individual CPF sum. Who the hack cares how much you have in your account?

      • The Oracle

        Usual insults Jasmine? Did your mother not tell you to wash out your potty mouth?

      • NoelTin

        And why he need to know and why you this idiot also need to know? what good bring to you when you actually know the total sum? Don’t be an idiot’s idiot. if you want to use the insult way I can go along with you this idiot name calling bitch. Or maybe you want to talk in polite way.

        Who the heck are you all to know how much our country have? go ask your idiot friends and see how many will tell you how much they have inside their CPF, it the same thing sensitive thing have to be kept.

        I like to know Jasmine, what the total pubic hair you have on your idiot body?? can you count for me? as I really want to know for no reason just like what the idiot want to know for the total sum of CPF for no reason. and I VERY VERY KEEN to know if you shave your idiot cunt.

  18. Ivan Ho

    Why when reaching age 55 to get our money we have to pledge our property?
    Why have to retain Minimum Sum and keep increasing amount to beat inflation, but the zero rate of return factoring inflation is considered fair?
    Just return our CPF money at age 55 and let us manage our own retirement!

    • 他要挤干你的最后一滴血

      因为他要挤干你的最后一滴血. Because he wants to squeeze your last drop of blood .

    • JoannaQuek

      Remember not all pple can manage their money, if government is going to release them and not protecting them. Sooner of later you will see many older people selling tissue paper, Please FIND a solution benefit for the whole of Singapore and not the self you.

      If you want benefit for yourself then go ahead and leave Singapore. What you all want is actually not good for the whole of Singapore and as such I don’t think Singapore need you all also.

  19. itt

    those who meet min sum with BOTH cash & property may also meet the min sum in cash, but prefer to take out 1/2 in cash instead of leaving it with the CPF.

  20. Elephant In The Room

    The 1st elephant in the room.
    The CPF system is not the problem.
    The PAP government that created this CPF is the problem.

    • Elephant In The Room

      The 2nd elephant in the room.
      If we don’t have enough money in the first place;
      – how will any new and improved CPF help?

    • Elephant In The Room

      The 3rd elephant in the room.
      Singaporeans have one of the highest savings rate in the world … in part because of the CPF compulsory savings system.
      And yet many Singaporeans do not have enough money for medical, hospitalization and retirement.
      Why?
      – Because our savings have all gone towards paying for our over-priced HDB flats.

  21. Elephant In The Room

    The 4th elephant in the room.
    The PAP government owns and/or controls 90% of the land supply in Singapore.
    There is no “Singapore property market”.
    There is only a PAP government property market.

  22. Johnnie

    LOL, “According to Leong Sze Hian”, haha.

    This line appears so many times in all of Ngerng’s articles.
    Indeed, if Leong is any better, he would be highly sought after by all the huge financial companies. Instead, all we see is him pulling numbers out of his ass.

    • supporter

      to Johnnie,
      if your age is relatively old than Roy, if your pay is higher than non, why don’t you modify this report on behalf prime lee ? people judge it after see your presentation.

      • The Oracle

        Some basic real facts that you can confirm by researching elsewhere:
        1) Over 90% of Singaporeans own their own home (with or without mortgage).
        2) By age 55, 80% of these Singaporeans have paid off their home mortgage.
        3) Implied from 1 and 2 above, approximately 72% of all Singaporeans own their own home without a mortgage at age 55 (90% x 80%) and, given that the average HDB unit is worth about $300,000, this group can be considered on track to have enough for retirement.
        4) Of the remaining 20% who own their home with a mortgage at age 55, the mortgage is typically small as they may have bought circa 20 years ago at much lower prices, and they would have paid off much of the loan in the interim. I would like to see the exact statistics for this but I suspect that significantly more than 50% of this group has $200,000 or more of equity value in their home – well over the CPF minimum sum.
        5) The above ignores the fact many will continue working until 65 or so, also ignores CPF, ignores other cash savings, and ignores any other cash, equity or property investments people may have made – which will increase the 80+% identified in points 1-4 above to circa 85+% leaving circa 15% who may not have enough to retire – and this again ignores the case of parents moving in with children, etc.

        QED: Roy’s 85% is BS (as he only considers CPF cash and makes a bunch of invalid assumptions) – the real number is circa 15%.

      • Another Oracle Lie

        ” 1) Over 90% of Singaporeans own their own home (with or without mortgage). ”

        HDB owns your HDB flat.
        You don’t own “your” HDB flat.
        You are just a tenant.

        Hard Truth thanks to PAP
        – less than 10% of Singaporeans own their homes
        – the lowest rate of home ownership in the world

      • The Oracle

        And yet you can sell this HDB flat that you don’t “own” and get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars! Isn’t that amazing?

      • PAP's Oracle Lies Again

        Oracle
        You know as well as I do that what is being bought and sold in the HDB market are leases.
        Leases are not property deeds.

      • PAPig Oracle Says "Show Me The Money"

        Spoken like a true PAPig.
        “Show me the money.”
        What’s wrong with you people?
        It’s never about truth & justice is it?
        Methinks you missed your true calling as a whore.

      • The Oracle

        As I’ve proven many times at this point, the person telling half truths is Roy.
        And as I’ve seen again and again, when Roy’s gang can’t refute my points the usual route is to resort to insults.
        I’ve given you the truth. The truth is that there are people who will struggle in their retirement years – circa 15% of the population (not Roy’s 85%).

        15% is still a significant problem but if Roy want’s to insist the percentage is 85% despite all the evidence to the contrary, all he is doing is undermining his own credibility.

  23. Deaf Frog's Toothpick

    the reason why some ppl can argue non-stop with Leong Sze Hian’s statistics goes back to the whole issue of transparency.

    anti-Roy buggers love to operate in this grey area where there is no transparency and the official stats are not available, the murkier the water is, they more they love splattering in it, it’s their natural habitat.

    suppose someone let u guess a number between 1-10, u have 5 tries, no matter what u guess, they’ll just say u r wrong, ok, then what is the correct answer? correct answer is a secret.

    arguing over estimates merely reinforces the fact that there are transparency issues.

    • The Oracle

      Quite the opposite. It would help if LSH’s statistics weren’t built on top of extremely selective statistics and a bunch of invalid assumptions as already outlined in previous posts above.

      • Deaf Frog's Toothpick

        thats the zone u want to operate in, camped in your bunker with your estimates vs another person’s estimates and u go “pew, pew, pew” with a pretend pistol.

      • The Oracle

        At least my estimates are built on facts instead of some of false “statistics” – “pew” back at you!

      • Deaf Frog's Toothpick

        @ The Oracle

        i think you do not understand the tradeoffs of using asset inflation to make up for the difference of low wages as a strategy for retirement.

        your arguments are highfalutin and myopic, we are not interested in ppl who have other cash savings, shares & other properties, who can sell and become millionaires.

        a responsible policy is not abt looking at those who are at the middle to those at top end of the pay scale, those ppl can take care of themselves, for those at the top, the cpf policy is not even relevant to them, you want to include these ppl to muddy the waters.

        if i were to make policies to ensure someone like Chua Thian Poh have enough for retirement, my life will be very easy, but it does not mean i have made good policies.

        when it comes to matters of retirement we need to look at the lower wage earners and ensure that they are not deemed expendable and get “discarded” by the policies just because political parties only need 50.1% in parliament to govern.

    • The Oracle

      @DFT
      You change tack yet again. Now you’re not interested in the middle and high earners but Roy has stated this is a problem for 85% of Singaporeans when I have much more clearly shown it is a problem for about 15%. 15% is still a big problem that needs to be addressed but when Roy quotes wildly inaccurate numbers as his starting point, how can anybody take him seriously after that?

      • Deaf Frog's Toothpick

        Roy is Roy, if u want to debate with him, he gives u an opportunity every month at hong lim park, the last time i checked, u declined to show up, so what u want?

        i think u should, u will find that compared to me, Roy and Leong Sze Hian are a much more pleasant to speak with.

        if u go on a witch-hunt where u suspect some commentator is Roy himself or Roy’s apologist, then I just feel sad for u.

        u are like the nasty relative i told u about, when we ask him whether he wants chicken or mutton for dinner, he’ll say “anything”, we serve chicken, he makes a lot of noise, when we serve mutton, he wants chicken.

        every month ppl give u a chance to talk face to face but u chicken out, then u come online to “find” Roy and tries to debate with him, u r illogical.

  24. Elephant In The Room

    The 5th elephant in the room.
    The PAP government surplus every year.
    A government surplus means that the PAP govt has over-collected tax money from Singaporeans.

    Just like a Town Council surplus means the PAP town council has over-collected money.
    We have been made to overpay the costs of running the PAP GRC.
    i.e. we have been overcharged.
    That is how you get a surplus.

    And what happens to the Town Council surplus?
    The money that we have overpaid?
    Is it returned to us?
    No.
    It goes into the PAP black box called the “reserve”.
    The minute any money is classified as reserve … that means that it will take 56 man years to find out how it is being used.
    Very difficult for Singaporeans to ever enjoy the fruits of their over-taxed money again.

    Think!
    Is the PAP government subsidizing the Singaporeans?
    Or are Singaporeans subsidizing the PAP government?
    Who really has a subsidy mentality?

    • Elephant In The Room

      The 6th elephant in the room.
      – LKY is the founding father of PAP.
      – LKY has been quoted as saying “What’s wrong with collecting more money?”

      So if you vote for PAP.
      And you always find yourself short of money.
      Do you know why?

  25. Elephant In The Room

    The 7th elephant in the room.
    Only Lee Kuan Yew and PAP has the monopoly on wisdom about what is good for Singaporeans and Singapore.

    There are so many possible solutions to the challenges that face Singapore today.
    We are a small country.
    We need Singaporeans to be courageous and creative.
    We don’t want our citizens to be PAP sheeple.

    Just because PAP’s paper generals can only run a command and control type of economy … does not mean that all Singaporeans have to become soldiers to suit them.

    Gratitude does not mean servitude.
    Don’t be daft.
    An alien will take over your job and country very soon.

  26. Pingback: Singaporeans Have Only $55,000 in Our CPF, Can Only Take Out $400! | The Heart Truths
  27. tan

    Those of you who keep looking at the shadow of the grand scheme of things , don’t appreciate how fortunate you already are. Instead you are asking for a perfect world without considering the tradeoffs. Sorry to say , our young generation has no gratitude and are simply spoilt.

    • Deaf Frog's Toothpick

      @ tan

      i am glad u know the word “tradeoff”.

      salary have to be measured against performance.

      when performance does not measure up, pay is revised downwards.
      ;

      weighing pros and cons are about making tradeoffs.

      tradeoffs would have to be measured against their outcomes.

      ;

      when the outcomes are bad, that means the wrong tradeoffs were made.

      and if the sum of the outcomes were good, why is the salary revised downwards?

    • reply to tan

      to tan,
      You are very fortunate, but 85 percent of us are not fortunate, instead, you and prime lee are simply spoilt. even transfer our cpf to your pocket , that is singaporean’s disaster today and ever.

  28. tan

    Actually our hdb is considered cheap and big if you compare to other major cities. Go to Hong Kong or new York the price is easily at least several fold more expensive. Also , which country can boast of 80 percent home ownership? The reason why youngsters are complaining is because they expect the government to sell the houses to them at cost of construction only. But what happens when these buyers sell them at market rate for a handsome profit? And when they spent all the money , they will start to complain they cannot afford a house then. See ? They are never satisfied .

    • The Thinking Behind PAP's Housing Policy

      ” But what happens when these buyers sell them at market rate for a handsome profit? And when they spent all the money , they will start to complain they cannot afford a house then. See ? They are never satisfied . ”

      Seriously?
      Is this the logic behind PAP’s HDB housing policy?
      Is this what they teach you in PAP training school?

      • jasmine

        Lol. These PAP faction thinking reminds me of two snakes trying to swallow each other from the tail, forming a circle that gets smaller every with each mouth.

    • Xmen

      @tan,

      In NYC, there are private properties and there are PUBLIC housing. Check out the price differences before making such ignorant comment (“price is easily at least several fold more expensive.) Further, you don’t have to live in overpriced NYC. But in Singapore, what choices do you have?

      • Who Owns 90% of the Land In Singapore?

        If I may add to Xmen comment.
        In NYC, in USA … there is a free market.
        Many buyers and more importantly … many sellers of private property.

        In Singapore, there is effectively only one supplier of land…. the PAP government …. which owns and controls 90% of the land in Singapore.

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