SINGAPORE: Social media posts and messages claiming that the Government has shifted the payout age for the Retirement Sum Scheme (RSS) to 70 are "not true", the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board clarified in a Facebook post on Saturday (Jan 19).
"You may have recently come across social media posts and messages that claim that the Government has quietly shifted the 'retirement payout age' to 70 for the Retirement Sum Scheme," said the CPF Board.
"This is not true and here are the facts," the board said.
In its post, the board clarified that the payout eligibility age for the RSS is 65 for those born from 1954 onwards.
This was announced in 2007 and has not changed, said the board.
"This means that members can start receiving their monthly payouts anytime from age 65."
The issue came into the spotlight after posts circulating online claimed that letters from the CPF Board seemed to imply that this payout age had been raised to 70.
One of these letters, shared by Facebook user Padma FI, said that no action was required from the recipient if they wished to start payouts at age 70.
The letter adds: "If you decide to start your payouts before age 70, inform us one month before your payouts start by submitting: The enclosed form; or an online application if you have a POSB, DBS, OCBC, UOB account."
The letter was sent to the uncle of a former colleague, said Padma FI. The uncle will be 65 in three months' time.
"Another brilliant move to try to delay our hard earned sweat," said the Facebook user.
AUTOMATIC PAYOUTS 'TO SIMPLIFY ACTIVATION PROCESS'
In its Facebook post, CPF Board said that before members reach their payout eligibility age, they will receive a letter from the board informing them that they can start their monthly payouts using an enclosed application form or via online.
"Members are also reminded through their yearly statement of accounts that they can apply to start their payouts."
It added: "Prior to 2018, if members did not apply to start their RSS payouts from age 65, the payouts would not start at all as there was no automatic start age for payouts."
As a result, some members did not start their payouts even after the age of 70, explained CPF Board.
"The board therefore introduced the automatic starting of payouts for members turning age 70 from Jan 2018 onwards, to simplify the activation process and let members start enjoying a retirement income from their CPF savings."
The board added that the automatic start age of 70 also applied to CPF LIFE members who turn 55 from July 2015 if they have not informed CPF Board of their wish to to start payouts between the ages of 65 and 70.
"This enables CPF members to enjoy higher payouts, which is in line with the CPF Advisory Panel's recommendation to offer members the option of deferring the payout start age up to age 70."