Monday, 18 February 2019

CPF 'retirement payout age' shifted to 70 - updated

Social media posts and messages claiming that the Government has shifted the payout age for the Retirement Sum Scheme (RSS) to 70 are "not true", the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board clarified in a Facebook post on Saturday (Jan 19).

"You may have recently come across social media posts and messages that claim that the Government has quietly shifted the 'retirement payout age' to 70 for the Retirement Sum Scheme," said the CPF Board.

"This is not true and here are the facts," the board said.

In its post, the board clarified that the payout eligibility age for the RSS is 65 for those born from 1954 onwards. This was announced in 2007 and has not changed.


1) 6 months before one reaches 65, CPF board will send the member an application form to confirm when he/she wishes to start receiving his/her payout (should be between 65 to 70). If the form is not returned, CPF board will only start paying the member at 70, hence the news CPF payout starts at 70 years old.

2) This is an opt-in rather than opt-out requirement.

You may want to read 
1) Forum:Don't blame the people for CPF rumour
2) CPF Board can do better in communicating messages on payouts: Josephine Teo

Forum: Take leaf out of Iceland's book

Image for illustration only

Mr George Pasqual is mistaken if he believes that the local football ecosystem has remained unchanged from when Singapore won three Asean Football Federation Championships (Why is FAS lamenting constraints that haven't changed in ages?, Feb 2).

In the years that the Lions were Asean football champions, we had three players recruited under the Foreign Sports Talent Scheme (FST) in 2004, five naturalised players in the 2007 squad and four new citizens representing Singapore in 2012.

The objective of the FST was to complement the Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) Youth Development programme by filling key positions in the national team, which was short of local talents.

The foreign recruits were pivotal to our success in those three tournaments.

The constraints highlighted by FAS, such as a small population, limited land, national service commitments and priority to academia, have to be resolved in order for football to be developed further.

Iceland, with a far more challenging football ecosystem, managed to climb from 131st in the 2012 Fifa world ranking to 22nd last year.

During last year's World Cup, it became the smallest country to ever qualify for the competition.

With a population of only 340,000 compared with Singapore's more than five million, theoretically, it does not make sense that Iceland is at the forefront of world football.

The FAS cited land constraints as a key factor holding us back, but we should not forget that Icelandic footballers live in the Arctic region, where the sun does not rise for three months every year and the subsoil is permanently frozen.

It is one of the most inhospitable places to cultivate football talent.

Iceland's success in building a formidable national team lies in identifying, recruiting and developing young talent from the primary school level.

Football clubs in Iceland keep close tabs on the talent available to them because the country's population is too small for any player to slip through their fingers.

One cannot get more pragmatic than that.

Edmund Khoo Kim Hock


A good night's sleep can cut heart disease risks

Sleeping at least seven hours every night can reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke, a new study finds.

Research conducted on mice showed that rodents who didn't get enough shut-eye were more likely to develop atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up on the inner walls of the arteries.

Previous studies have found that a lack of sleep increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, but researchers have not been able to explain how.

The team, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, says its study is the first to show that a region of the brain involved in sleep is linked to bone marrow and can raise the production of white blood cells known to cause atherosclerosis.


Push-up capacity may predict men's heart disease risk

The number of push-ups a man can do in the doctor's office may be a good predictor of his risk of developing heart disease in the coming years, new research suggests.

In a study of more than 1,100 male firefighters followed for 10 years, researchers found that the risk of atherosclerosis and of cardiovascular events, such as stroke and heart attack, was 96% lower among men who could do 40 or more push-ups during timed tests compared to the men who could do fewer than 10.

The findings could lead to an easy test for heart disease risk, said the study's lead author Dr. Justin Yang, a researcher at Harvard's T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.


My photo - white flowers

17Feb2019 - white flowers

A public domain photo by me

Are you getting enough Vitamin D? Sunlight through glass does not count

Sunlight does not actually “provide” you with Vitamin D. Rather, your body produces Vitamin D when skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which trigger Vitamin D synthesis. The liver and kidneys convert this biologically inert form of Vitamin D into biologically active forms the body can use to promote calcium absorption and bone health.

But sunlight consists of both ultraviolet A or UVA, which penetrates deep within the skin layers and can cause premature ageing; and ultraviolet B or UVB, which causes the redness of sunburn. It’s the UVB rays that trigger the synthesis of Vitamin D.

Many people can derive the Vitamin D that their bodies need through direct exposure to sunlight. As little as 10 minutes a day of sun exposure is typically adequate.

And you cannot get adequate UVB exposure sitting indoors or in a car. Virtually all commercial and automobile glass blocks UVB rays. As a result, you will not be able to increase your Vitamin D levels by sitting in front of a sunny window, though much of the UVA radiation will penetrate the glass and may be harmful.