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First HDB, next CPF? Will Singapore’s twin sacred cows be slayed?

Last year was a rude awakening for Singaporeans who came to the realisation that their prized retirement nest egg – the HDB flat – would continually dwindle in value with each passing day.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong admitted as much: “As the leases run down, especially towards the tail-end, the flat prices will come down correspondingly.”

Like the HDB, is the other sacred cow – the Central Provident Fund (CPF) – also under grave threat?

There has been confusion over whether the government has quietly shifted the retirement payout age from 65 to 70.

If not now, it could be a matter of time.

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said on Monday that more than half of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries, which are developed countries, have set their pension withdrawal age at 65 or older. Some in fact have been raising it due to increasing longevity, she stressed.

So Singaporeans who had hoped for the retirement payout age to be revised downwards not only have their hopes dashed, but should brace themselves for a shift upwards.

Perhaps 70 is a nice number, as far as the government is concerned?

While the value of HDB flats go down and down, the retirement payout age goes in the other direction – up and up.