The first batch of people living on minimum sum + CPF Life under the Refund 80 will be getting $610 per month. The 1st batch on this scheme will hit 65 in 10 years time and 80 in 25 years time.
A Happy Meal today costs $4.60 with inflation running at 3-5% in 15 years time, the Happy Meal will cost about $10. To live on 3 Happy Meals a day will cost $30 per day and $900 per month. $610 is not enough for 3 Happy Meals a day. Of course you can opt to eat something else and stretch your money....this is just an example to give you a feel of the buying power of $610.
Actually, CPF Life is very interesting - it is so flexible, you can almost avoid the annuities scheme by opting for Refund 90. Refund 90 simply stretches the minimum sum in your RA until you reach 90. The annuities kick in when you reach 90 and you pay for this with only 6% of your minimum sum. The 6% is refundable but you forego the interest on that amount - the interest is used to fund annuities scheme.
Locking up the minimum sum so that it earns a nominal interest of 3% only guarantees inadequecy at the point of retirement. Almost all other govts that have retirement schemes take up the challenge of investing the money for higher returns and giving it back to citizens when they retire. Be it the Malaysian EPF scheme (4.5-8%)or the Indian version which returns 9.5% or the Norwegian one (6.5%) or Calpers (8.9%) or the Chilean retirement scheme (10%) govts running retirement funds understand the importance of beating inflation to provide adequate retirement funds for the people who put their hardearned money in their care. In Singapore things are different. It is easier to tell our old folks to live with less, work longer and eat 2 Happy Meals a day instead of 3. Work ethics and thriftyness among ordinary citizens can always overcome inadequacy. As for higher returns, the GIC borrows your CPF funds at the 3% nominal rate, invests to make an average 6% or higher then keep the extra. Now you see why your govt deserves to be paid the highest pay in the world? They are really smart at making money.