In a Parliamentary response to MP Cheng Li Hui's query on Adapt and Grow suite of programmes, Singapore's Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo has revealed more than 25,000 Singaporeans benefited from the scheme in 2017, compared to 21,000 in 2016.
Citing the ramp-up of the government's Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) over the last two years, she noted there are currently over 100 PCPs in about 30 sectors, which is approximately twice the number of PCPs a year ago.
"New PCPs for internal auditors, financial forensic professionals and consultants have been launched this year," Minister Teo said, adding that programme will be expanded per the demand and capacity to aid mid-career jobseekers.
In 2017, the Career Support Programme (CSP) was enhanced to provide higher salary support to employers who hire older PMETs who have been unemployed for at least 12 months - helping to place over 1,100 PMETs. Of these, more than 500 (46%) were aged 50 and above.
In response to another pertinent question asked by MP Gan Thiam Poh, on CPF withdrawals, the Minister shared that as of end 2017, 42% of those who turned age 55 in 2016 did not withdraw any CPF monies within a year of their 55th birthday.
"This includes the first S$5,000 from the Ordinary and Special Accounts (OA and SA) which members can withdraw unconditionally, monies above their cohort Full Retirement Sum, as well as monies above Basic Retirement Sum which can be withdrawn using property charge or pledge," she clarified.
For those who did withdraw, the majority, about six in 10 members, withdrew up to $5,000.
For the same cohort, about 53% of active members met their Full Retirement Sum in cash and pledge at age 55 in 2016 (i.e., able to set aside the Full Retirement Sum fully in cash, or met Basic Retirement Sum in cash and provided sufficient property pledge or charge).
Of this group, about five in 10 left additional funds in their CPF Ordinary or Special Accounts. "Based on our observations, members do so because they have no immediate need of the money, or they wish to take advantage of the higher CPF risk-free interest rates," she explained.
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