In a state propaganda article published by Straits Times yesterday (Sep 23), the 153rd-ranking fake news media called for Singaporeans not to withdraw their CPF. Deliberately misleading the public, the government mouthpiece wrote that Singaporeans should keep their money with CPF to “generate higher interest rates that pays better than the bank”.

In typical propaganda fashion, the government newspapers quoted “experts” from government bank DBS and other state-funded organisations to back up its whitewashing of the 2.5% interest rate at CPF. Quoting the head of financial planning from DBS, the papers deviously compared the retirement fund to a fixed deposit and bank savings rate:

“Let’s assume all your funds are in a savings account with an annual interest rate of 0.5 per cent. With inflation here at 2 per cent, your money will lose about 26 per cent of its value in 20 years, from $100,000 to $74,008, says Mr Brandon Lam, Singapore head of financial planning group at DBS Bank.”

The chief executive of SingCapital made an even more audacious claim saying that CPF members can withdraw their money anytime:

“As CPF members can withdraw any amount (subject to CPF rules) at any time after age 55, it works like a private personal ATM with much higher interest than a bank savings account.”

This is untrue as there is the moving target CPF Minimum Sum of S$181,000 (increasing at about S$5,000 each year). Failing to meet the amount means only S$5,000 can be withdrawn at age 55.

Straits Times then made five “recommendations” – all of which to put the money back with the government – including leaving the money with CPF, topping up the CPF Retirement Sum, topping up the CPF Medisave, topping up the CPF accounts of family members and paying HDB for outstanding CPF loans.

Managing the CPF funds is Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who sits himself as the Chairman of GIC. The GIC reportedly lost undisclosed billions that saw the 20-year-annualised return dropped from 4.1% to 3.4% this year. Drawing an undisclosed Chairman fees, Lee Hsien Loong is heavily dependent on CPF funding for his overseas investments via GIC.