CPF: FT MP’s constructive, good suggestion

In CPF, Financial competency, Property on 28/05/2015 at 2:05 pm

One of my favourite love-to-hate MPs said something sensible before LKY’s death dominated the news: that the joint consent of both spouses should be required when a member’s CPF withdrawal is linked to a CPF charge on the couple’s jointly owned property.

She should have gone on to say that this principle should also apply where a working couple jointly use their  CPF funds of buy a flat. The right to withdraw funds should be subject to the veto of the other partner. It’s their money that was pooled to buy that flat.

And yes, more financial competency courses so that more will learn about the BS Roy spins.  “The Republic scored 68 points out of 100, a drop of four points from the previous survey conducted in 2013” (Singapore Sees Decline In Financial Literacy: Survey, Matthias Tay).

Seriously, At the moment, concepts taught in schools rarely go beyond the basics of saving and borrowing, and even at the institutes of higher learning the economics subject shares little about day-to-day financial knowledge and skills. Young Singaporeans seem poorly equipped to handle such responsibilities, or – progressively – apply concepts learnt in the classroom.

There is also a common misconception that financial literacy only involves the complicated investments in or management of stocks, debts, or derivatives, though – as the MasterCard index has shown – individuals should be familiar with basic money management, financial and retirement planning, and investment.


*… We are concerned that stay-at-home mothers, not having accumulated much Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings, cannot benefit from the latest CPF enhancements.

They will continue to rely on their spouses’ CPF for their retirement. Therefore, even as the CPF enhancements provide members with greater flexibility, it must be exercised with the goal of also providing retirement adequacy for their spouses.

The Government is encouraging spouses and children to top up the Retirement Accounts of their loved ones, by paying an additional 1 percentage point for the first $30,000 for members above 55.

I have asked that joint consent of both spouses be required when a member’s CPF withdrawal is linked to a CPF charge on the couple’s jointly owned property.

There is still much we can do to educate and encourage couples to optimise their CPF balances. Financial literacy and understanding of the latest CPF changes are essential to help women attain retirement adequacy. The PAP Women’s Wing will start a movement to help women and their families understand the impact of these changes and to make better decisions for the family.

Foo Mee Har (Ms)
MP for West Coast GRC
Treasurer, PAP Women’s Wing Executive Committee



  1. […] – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: CPF: FT MP’s constructive, good suggestion […]

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