When the CPF was established in 1955, the life expectancy was 65 years. The withdrawal age was set at 55 which was also the retirement age at that time. Most retirees have an average of 10 years after retirement.
The life expectancy has increased to 82 years. If the same 10 year gap is maintained, the CPF withdrawal age should be set at 72 years.
The Government has maintained the withdrawal age at 55 years but require a minimum sum to be kept in the CPF. Over the years, the minimum sum has increased from $35,000 but has increased in stages and is $155,000 in 2016. As a result, most workers are not able to withdraw any money at 55 years (except for a token sum).
The minimum sum has to be converted into a life annuity from 65.
Through these measures, the CPF has been converted from a provident fund to a pension scheme.