Will you die before you receive your CPF?

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At a recent CPF discussion hosted by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), someone made a point that sounds like this: “18% of CPF members aged above 55 will be dead before they can even receive one cent from their monthly payout at 65”

Scary hor?

The fella even made a blog post out of it (though I won’t point you there and drive traffic to his site). He did however produce a table that scares the reader:

1a

(Stats from: http://www.singstat.gov.sg/Publications/publications_and_papers/population_and_population_structure/population2013.pdf)

 

But put down your vitamin pills and fruit smoothies – statistically speaking, you’re not going to die before you can enjoy your CPF drawdown at 65, here’s why:

First, it is very misleading to cite deaths by age group as a percentage of total deaths in a year. You know why?

For those who never paid attention to mathematics in school, look at this – the blogger took the total number of deaths (from age 55 to 85+) and then derived a death rate from an age cohort. This is incorrect because you’re not finding out the rate of one cohort fairly.

Put simply, he’s not comparing apples-to-apples.

Put in simple English, it’s either the blogger has not passed his A level mathematics or he’s trying to deceive his readership.

Here’s the full, and more accurate picture:

1b

The red rectangle shows the accurate calculation.

So actually hor, many Singaporeans live beyond the CPF Life drawdown age of 65. Here’s a simple table derived from the Department of Statistics:

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In short, statistically speaking, you’ll be around until you’re about 80-85. Ever thought about what would happen to you if you run out of money before then?

So get married, have a family and stay married! At least you won’t be so lonely and surrounded by cats in your most frail years.

And also, any money left in your CPF after you’ve handed in your IC, will be bequeathed to your family.

For now, CPF does not entertain bequeath to cats.

 

 

 

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Tay Leong Tan

Tay Leong Tan is a collective of 3 writers. Tay, Leong and Tan. (Who were you expecting?!) We are enthusiastic about labour issues, economics and current affairs in particular.

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