Temasek doesn’t invest or manage CPF savings

LAST Saturday’s article (“Ways to improve CPF”) quoted an unnamed person as saying he suspected the Central Provident Fund Minimum Sum was raised “because Temasek or GIC lost money overseas”.

Temasek does not invest or manage the savings of CPF members.

We believe the CPF Minimum Sum policy, instituted in 1987, aims to help CPF savers build retirement nest eggs that should ideally keep pace with increasing life expectancy, median income and inflation.

In 1957, life expectancy at birth was under 60 years for men, and over 63 years for women. Started in 1955, the compulsory CPF saving system was designed to support about five to eight years of retirement life after 55.

By last year, life expectancy crossed 80 years for men in Singapore, and close to 85 years for women. Hence, retirees at 55 would need to have saved enough for more than 25 years of retirement for men and 30 years for women, on average. There is a real need to increase retirement savings.

Fortunately, the majority of Singaporeans lead healthy and active lives well into their 60s or older. Many choose to continue working beyond 55 – this helps build their retirement savings. CPF savers grow their retirement nest eggs further at above current bank deposit rates.

As for Temasek’s performance, we have more than doubled our portfolio value since 2002, excluding any net new capital.

As of our last reporting date of March 31 last year, returns to Temasek for newer investments made since 2002, when we started investing directly in a growing Asia, have exceeded returns since 2002 for older investments made prior to 2002.

Temasek pays taxes on its profits and also distributes annual dividends to its shareholders. These dividends supplement the taxes collected by the Government to fund various programmes, including lifelong medical support for the pioneer generation.

We thank readers for their interest in Temasek, and look forward to the day when it is practical for us to issue Temasek Bonds to retail investors to give them another option to save for their retirement.

Stephen Forshaw
Managing Director Strategic & Public Affairs

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