8 Things #ReturnMyCPF doesn’t know about CPF

(The article below has been submitted by Ali Ahmad)

If you’d like to rebel, at least rebel with a cause eh? So here’s a few things that these protestors ought to know before they launch their demonstrations.

1. You’re never NOT getting your money back


a.) You’ll get everything back when you’re 55, EXCEPT…to prevent you spending like a maniac, you keep a minimum sum in there. If you can’t meet this minimum sum, pledge your house…and you’ll get 50% of THAT money back too.
b.) You’ll get a draw down one you’re 65 to the end of your life.
c.) If your money outlives you, the money gets returned in cash to your family.


2. There is no bank in Singapore that will grant you 4% interest for doing nothing. If there is, then you’ll have to accept risk of loss also.




3. Even GIC doesn’t know that they’re investing CPF money.


Because it’s not! The Government is the one investing your money, not GIC. They’re two different organisations. Put simply, given its position, the GIC is concerned not with where the Singapore Government gets its money, but with how to generate consistently high returns over the long term. Personally I would also rather my personal wealth manager just spend his time making more money for me rather than poke around at how I earned my money.


4. GIC is a private company. PRIVATE LIMITED company.


It’s not a stat board, it’s not a government agency, it’s not a ministry – it’s a private limited company. This means that GIC is not actually a part of the Singapore Government, or any of its agencies. Instead, think of it more like a private wealth manager. Picture yourself in the scenario below:

a. You have some money
b. You want the money to make more money
c. You know someone whose good at making money make more money
d. You hire him and give him your money so he can make more money for you
e. You take the money he makes for you, and give him more money whenever you want more money to be made out of it

That’s pretty much how GIC works for the Singapore Government. Its sole job is to make money for Singapore.


5. And it’s not just about CPF… the entire country benefits from sovereign wealth investment


All that money would be for naught if you never get to see any of it. That’s why GIC has been giving roughly S$8 billion to the Singapore Budget every year for the last 4 years. That’s more than the total amount raised from collecting personal income taxes and about 1/7 of the entire budget. And it still manages to grow significantly bigger every year. Yes, GIC does give you more money than you give the government.


6. All those ministers on the board don’t actually get paid to be on the board


At first glance, it might look a little suspicious that many of the people on the GIC’s Board of Directors are ministers or members of parliament. Yeah, well… They don’t get paid. They don’t get dividends. They don’t even get kisses from the cute receptionist at the front desk. They are only concerned with representing the Singapore Government on the board so that the decisions GIC makes are to maximise the benefit to Singaporeans.


7. Aha! Then what about those other people on the board who aren’t ministers or MPs?

They get paid. Duh… they’re investment pros – the sort of experts who help to get those delicious returns on investment. They sneeze Ferraris and fart Penthouses. They don’t work for free. Consider how much other private wealth managers and banks charge for managing your money. Either way, the board simply decides on strategic direction. The real on-the-ground investment decisions are made by the executive committee and the other group committees, who also get paid btw.




Remember the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis? That happened when someone found out precisely how much to spend to make a country run out of reserves.

Here’s a nice video to explain.


What the protestors needs to know is CPF, GIC, YMCA, NParks, the Government and the PAP are all (wait for it….) different organisations.








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