CPF, Basic Retirement Sum, Ministry of Manpower, Dr. Tan See Leng

Of these, about 30% are expected to accrue additional contributions through employment from age 55.

The Central Provident Board's (CPF) Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) is meant to provide CPF members with monthly payouts in retirement that cover basic living expenses, Singapore's Minister for Manpower Dr. Tan See Leng reminded in a recent parliamentary response.

Asked about the current number of workers who are unable to meet their BRS, Dr. Tan shared that among active CPF members who turned age 55 in 2021, about 33%, or 13,300 members, had yet to set aside the cohort’s BRS. Of these, about 30% are expected to accrue additional contributions through employment from age 55 so that they may receive similar payouts at age 65 as those who had set aside the cohort BRS at age 55.

The other members may have lower total lifetime CPF contributions, which means they could be eligible for the Silver Support Scheme, the Minister further clarified.

As noted, the Silver Support Scheme covers one-third of all seniors aged 65 and above, and provides quarterly cash supplements of up to S$900 in addition to CPF payouts, and other forms of Government support such as the Workfare Income Supplement. Members who have not met the prevailing BRS may also be eligible for matching top-ups from the Government under the Matched Retirement Savings Scheme, which was launched in 2021.

Other forms of aid the Minister cited for seniors include additional retirement support from their loved ones, from their private savings, and unlocking the value of their housing assets through the Lease Buyback Scheme or Silver Housing Bonus. Members are also able to choose to start their CPF payouts later, up to age 70, to receive higher payouts.

Member of Parliament Desmond Choo, who had asked the question above, also requested details on the forecasted number of workers who will not be able to meet the CPF BRS over the next 10 and 20 years respectively.

In response to this, Dr. Tan shared: "It is difficult to project the BRS attainment 10 or 20 years from now with meaningful accuracy as members’ CPF balances could change significantly due to multiple reasons, such as contributions from employment income or voluntary top-ups. 

"Nevertheless, BRS attainment has been improving and this is expected to continue in the next few years. About 20% of active CPF members turning 55 in 2027 are expected to set aside less than the BRS, down from 33% in 2021, and 40% in 2017."

Dr. Tan also addressed further queries on whether the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will consider reviewing the criteria of the Silver Support Scheme so that more seniors in need of the support can be assisted.

In response, he shared that the Ministry reviews the Silver Support Scheme regularly, and had enhanced the scheme last year. This includes raising payouts for recipients by 20%, and expanding the thresholds for lifetime wages and household monthly income per person to cover more seniors. MOM has also added a new payout tier that provides a payout to seniors with household monthly incomes per person above S$1,300 but not exceeding S$1,800.

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