Which part of "Return our CPF" did the 13-members of the CPF advisory panel not understand? The "basic" amount of $80,500 of the Basic Requirement Sum is still money withheld, money which should have been released at age 55. Way back in 1984, Toh Chin Chye had already named the beast:
"Mr Speaker, I think fundamental principles are being breached. The fundamental principle is this. The CPF is really a fixed deposit or a loan to Government, which can be redeemed at a fixed date when the contributor is 55 years old. If I were to put this sum of money in a commercial bank and, on the due date I go to the bank to withdraw the money, the manager says, “I am sorry, Dr Toh, you will have to come next year”, there will be a run on the bank! It is as simple as this, that the CPF has lost its credibility, the management of it."
Toh also identified where the thievery started from Medisave: “6% of your Special Account will be kept for Medisave and you cannot withdraw that, even if you were to die.” Some senior citizens have discovered, to their horror, that when their meagre Medisave funds are used for healthcare needs, funds from ordinary/retirement accounts were transferred over to make up the Medisave minimum, without their knowledge or expressed permission.
When Toh was speaking, CPF contribution was 50% of wages, more than enough to see anyone through in retirement comfort. But no, they had to tweak the system to raid the nest egg, to the extent that Medishield Life will now tax a 90 year old to the tune of a $1,500 a year. Not every nonagenarian still has a $16,000 allowance, on top of multiple counts of pensions, and not even required to show up for work. One way to escape the cradle-to-grave tax is to burn your passport, withdraw your CPF balances and buy a house in Batam, where some Indonesian maiden will pamper you to death in your evening years. Maybe that was their intended way of exporting the aging population problem.