The Central Provident Fund (CPF) has announced a 4.8% increase to the mandatory Minimum Sum for Medicare (now called the “Basic Healthcare Sum”) to S$54,500 from S$52,000. This will generate a potential S$5 billion for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s GIC and his wife’s Temasek Holdings, where the husband and wife are Chairman and CEO respectively.
CPF did not explain why the 4.8% increase exceeds by more than 12 times the yearly inflation figure of 0.4% as of Sep 2017.
Under direct order from the Prime Minister’s Office, the CPF Board under the Ministry of Manpower will also depress CPF interest rate at 2.5% per annum – the lowest return as compared to retirement and superannuation funds world wide.
State media CNA published a misleading news claiming that the interest rate pays “up to 3.5%”, when the special rate is only for the first S$60,000.
Under Lee Hsien Loong’s reign, the CPF Minimum Sum is now S$166,000 – doubled from S$80,000 – and the withdrawal age is now 63, up from 55 years old. Singapore has one of the highest elderly poverty rate in the world, with majority of the elderly working in demeaning and low paying manual labour jobs like cleaners and security guards.