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NDR speech: CPF enhancements, less money for citizens?

By SY Lee and Leong Sze Hian

We refer to the article “National Day Rally 2014: CPF changes good but devil is in the details” (Straits Times, Aug 17).

"Enhancements" to CPF

It states that “One is making four-room flats eligible for the Lease Buyback Scheme. The other is giving low-income elderly a yearly bonus to help them with their expenditures during their retirement years through a new Silver Support scheme.

At the same time, Mr Lee also said that CPF members will be able to withdraw a lump sum from their savings, possibly up to 20 per cent, after they reach 65 years of age.”

This much awaited announcement on enhancements to the CPF system, was arguably disappointing, because fundamentally, the Government may still not be spending a single cent on our CPF system, since all contributions are made by the people.

4-room flats Lease buyback

In fact, these enhancements might make even more money for the government.

Allow us to explain. By extending the Lease Buyback Scheme to 4-room HDB flats (assuming market valuation of $400,000 for a flat), a Singaporean may stand to lose about $900,000 (and the HDB gains $900,000?) for each flat ("Each HDB flat lose $700,000 – Enhanced Lease Buy-back?", Aug 15).

The sums involved may be astronomical as the inclusion of 4-room flats account for about half of all HDB flats – about 500,000 flats.

Flat buyback LSH NDR2014

Source of all images: Dr Ang Yong Guan’s Facebook page