Friday, June 1, 2012

Different Folks, Different Needs

Minister of State Tan Chuan-Jin wrote in The Manpower Blog, that while everyone needs to plan for his or her own retirement, the state needs to ensure that the CPF can provide a basic level of adequacy, especially for the lower income Singaporeans. In 2003, the Economic Review Committee (ERC) had recommended that the Minimum Sum (MS) set aside to meet a basic level of subsistence during retirement has to grow in real terms to reach $120,000 (in 2003 dollars) by 2013.

Thanks in part to the lack of tangible success in controlling inflation, the target is now shifted forward by two years to 2015. CPF members who turn 55 between this July and June next year will also be required to have a new minimum sum of $139,000, up 6 per cent from $131,000 last year. Apparently all the MAS grandstand efforts at maintaining a strong SingDollar to combat imported inflation didn't amount to much help. Not when the domestic contributors of inflation are having a field day - electricity tariff, housing and transportation costs, etc, etc.

To quote the PM, it's no fun being poor in Singapore. The more fortunate have a different set of worries. Take the financial expectations of one politician who "retired" in 1990:
"I can understand a person wanting to have, in today's Singapore, a house, a car. Projecting myself back as a young man, I would probably need about $10 million - $5 million to buy a house, the things that would go with the house and education for the children. So if I have another three, four million in the bank and income from it, and three, four hundred thousand dollars annual income, that's the kind of life that I as a non-politician would probably aspire to if I were in my 30s."

That was what Lee Kuan Yew told Warren Fernanadez in an interview for a book published in 1998 ("LKY: The Man And His Ideas", pg 235), telling the future editor of the Straits Times that money has not been a determining factor in his life. However, he did add, "If you ask me to live today in an HDB three room flat, and I had to eat at a hawker centre every day, that would a problem," saying his digestion capability at that age will not be able to cope.

Sigh, the lower income group will just have to have a stronger stomach to cope. For them, any meal would be welcomed respite, be it from a hawker centre, food court or restaurant.


  1. @ "be it from a hawker centre, food court or restaurant"

    oh behave!

  2. Poor Singaporean6/01/2012 8:50 AM

    Yes, the poor are lucky. They have strong stomachs and few desires. The rich can use their money to pay for medical specialists, medication and therapy to treat their physical and emotional illnesses.

  3. Good gracious, did he really said those words ? So did he led the cat out of the bag to admit it was MONEY afterall, nothing else but MONEY above everything else ? No wonder our leaders are so money-faced nowadays.

    The whole CPF scheme is really a blatant abuse of our CPF savings, literally forced down out throats without the minimum courtesy of even seeking our basic consent. 1st they robbed us of our true interest earnings , channelled away in other forms to pay for their annual obscene salaries & bonuses.

    And for those CPF contributor whose lifespan happens to be 1 day longer than age 65, it is almost as good as saying goodbye to their minimum sum. It doesn't matter the least bit to our Govt that there are people destined to live shorter lifespan than the average ones.

    And to think that they can even devise such a detrimental benefit for such shortlived contributors, it makes one wonder whether the CPF scheme is more like that MP alleged 'Nigerian scam' rather than one that really looks after the interests of every contributor ?

    Are the signs pointing in the direction that they are more keen to delay withdrawal like what they often do in a Ponzi scheme ? Can anyone tell WTF are they really doing ?

    1. Can anyone tell why there is no guarantee for the monthly paid out sum on reaching 65 and why there is a provision of a bill passed by parliament that can stop payment if the life annuity scheme is insolvent. Strange thatthey are actually prepared for extreme scenarios.

    2. the fact that it seems this is perhaps the only area where they are prepared for an extreme scenario, says a lot. they were certainly not prepared for Everyday 1st world breakdowns for the trains... or the need for housing...or for hospitals... or... what the heck, just put all areas that impact on normal life here!

      perhaps tt's why we cldn't prosecute over the screw-up with those DBS investments. can we however bring them to court and charge them with theft?

    3. So LKY in 1990 started to see that Money is everything. If you traced back when Singapore or rather the Govt in power started to see Growth & became more interested in "making" money, you might find some co-relation. No?

      Just a wild conjecture.

  4. Therein lies the root problem of the Pro Alien Party's anti-people policy:

    "Minister of State Tan Chuan-Jin wrote in The Manpower Blog, that while everyone needs to plan for his or her own retirement, the state needs to ensure that the CPF can provide a basic level of adequacy, especially for the lower income Singaporeans."

    Singaporeans are responsible for ourselves.
    But the Pro Alien Party wants to "double confirm" by helping themselves to our retirement money, the CPF.

    You either help or get out of my face.
    All in or all out.
    No such thing as "I just want to double confirm that you are taking care of your retirement."

    Since you prove yourself inept at managing a limping (albeit a fast limping) terrorist,
    what makes you think you can manage my retirement money?
    Pui! Pui! Puuuuuiiii!!
    Please pardon my vernacular speech.

  5. All these are just an excuse to deny us the liberty to run our own lives, by withholding our savings. In what way does the government really ensure our CPF is enough to cover us? By paying pathetic interest rates persistently? This is financial repression! Using our cheap money to finance Temasek's lousy and under-performing investments. By under-spending on healthcare and making the old ones struggling with healthcare expenses? Is this what the government meant by doing enough for the aged?

    Never believe in a single word said by them! They're morally rotten!

  6. My dad has withdrawn all his CPF money more than 20 years old ago and is still living fine without relying on government assistance. Who needs the government to use our money to take care of us. People can judge for themselves if the government is genuinely concerned about their life after retirement or the huge pile of CPF money which they can tap at low interest rate for huge investment gains.

    Stop faking greed as compassion!

    Give Back Our Money ~ !!!

  7. Since the Millionaire of State likes to double confirm;
    Let's also double confirm that the Pro Alien Party is as honest as they say they are;

    Vote Opposition in GE 2016.

  8. Where is our money? This question is really getting people thinking now. Chee got sued for asking this question but yet the government is all quiet about the claim by a Professor Christopher Balding. His article really has some very valid claims

    1. Not even the president can get an answer! We are all in the DARK.

    2. It is unfortunate that TCB did not get into office. I am sure he will ask where are the money and how much. It is no point guarding the Reserves if you have no idea how much are these!

    3. Correction.
      President can get answer.
      But must wait 56 man years.

      Ong Teng Cheong asked in 1993.
      He passed away in 2002.
      9 years into the 56 man years.

      Just like our CPF money.
      Can get.
      But must wait.
      Likely outcome.
      You die before you can touch your CPF money.

      It's too late for us now.
      But not too late for our children.
      Vote Opposition in GE 2016.

  9. Sinkies have oni one common need now


    that is to have the slave driver removed.


  10. Let's all do something, rather than to wait for 2016 to come.

    There is an event this Saturday at Hong Lim Park ( that celebrates the work of 22 "Marxist conspirators".

    Go attend the event. Show support to these Singaporeans who risked their freedom to take action to help fellow beings in destitude.

    Most of all, show your middle finger to PAP.

  11. Before giving yet another cent into the black hole CPF, people should be demanding that TH & GIC open their books and account for the missing assets/trillions that Professor C.Balding has outlined very clearly.

    We should challenge our unbiased press to do an independent coverage on this issue and account to the people.

    No point pouring in more of your hard earned money into a bucket that is leaking.

    1. Agree.

      MOS Tan Chuan Jin should demand MOF to come clean with the maximum amount that our Temasek SWFs are holding, instead of asking people to come up with more minimum sum.

      This reminds me of the Ministerial Salaries.
      Ministers want maximum pay, but won't give minimum pay to workers. They want pension and permanent crutches paid by taxpayer, but they would deny welfare help/aid to poor citizens.

  12. Something is seriously and structurally wrong with Singapore if FD rate is below 1% and CPI is above 5%. People are penalized for saving money, if they have anything left over to save at all, that is.

  13. Take a look at this recent thread in stomp:

  14. @ 5:59pm
    not avail ....

  15. MOS Tan Chuan Jin sure got heart, when he said he wants to ensure that retirees have adequate CPF. Talk is cheap when the government doesn't come out a single cent.

    Don't just talk the cock but walk the talk. Show your sincerity and conscience by topping up those CPF special accounts that are below the ever shifting minimum sum, for those turned 55. And raise the interest rate above the paltry 2.5% we are getting in the ordinary account.

    No money? Raise the marginal income tax and corporate tax rates, and reinstate estate duties and capital gains tax. Here the rich and the mafias in white get away with....dooh nibor (rob the poor give the rich).

    1. Our lower income shoulder a higher tax burden with GST, CPF and mortgage for housing. Let's face it - most CPF will never be returned.

  16. vote the pap out, wholesale

  17. I find that whenever MAS announce they want to strengthen sing dollar to curb inflation, it always goes the opposite direction.

  18. With the goalposts forever moving further and further away, the hard-earned CPF fund will just disappear and be beyond reach for the poor.

    The poor may not even be able to smell a proper meal with their CPF unable to withdraw. They will no choice whether to opt for hawker centre, food court or restaurant.

  19. Why the hell does the minimum sum have to increase by 6% when the inflation is only 5%. Hey esteemed Tharman also claimed that inflation will not directly affect the majority of Singaporans given that majority of Singaporeans already bought their HDB flats and are not buying cars. So why 6%? Unless he IS spewing crap!

  20. @ 6.52pm 6/01/2012, go to Talkback section, under rave and rant sub category, visit the thread what I hate about current singapore by carnagejane.