A pillar of Singapore's social safety net for decades, it has been praised internationally.

But the Central Provident Fund (CPF) came under scrutiny this year, and a whole host of changes is set to make it more flexible. For one thing, from Jan 1 next year, workers will get a boost, with employer CPF contribution rates up by at least a percentage point.

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced this move - and five years of annual CPF Medisave top-ups for older Singaporeans outside the pioneer generation- in the Budget.
CPF members will also have the option of withdrawing part of their savings in a lump sum after they retire, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at the National Day Rally.

However, those who turn 55 from July 1 next year will need to fork out more to meet the Minimum Sum, which will be raised to $161,000, up from $155,000 for this year's cohort. But Mr Lee assured Singaporeans he saw no need for any further major hikes.

Expect more discussion about the scheme next year as the CPF Advisory Panel, named in September, should have its first set of recommendations ready next month.

Source: The Straits Times