CPF: The PAP Still Not Telling The Complete Truth, Contradictions Revealed

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The government has dedicated an entire article to dispel the “myths” that “Blogs such as The Heart Truths (that) have made allegations about our CPF monies” that the government claimed are “inaccurate or outright false”. Thank you. What an apt birthday present.

Let’s take a quick look at their “myths”. Let me opined on some questions. Also note this – what is not said is more important than what the government had chosen to say.

QUESTION 1: Should Our Retirement Funds Also Include Property?

The government claimed that Singaporeans’ retirement funds are not the least adequate in the world, because:

The uniqueness of our system is that you can also use your CPF monies to pay for housing.

The homes that we own are part of our retirement assets too, allowing us to save on rent while providing us with the option to sell our homes when we need to.

When international studies on pension systems make comparisons across countries, they often ignore this fact. They paint an incomplete picture of what members have in their accounts. They do not take into account the fact that Singaporeans also have used their CPF monies to pay for their homes.

Very nice phrasing they used there. So, let’s take a look at what is not said.

(1) If “Singaporeans … have used their CPF monies to pay for their homes” and thus do not have enough cash in the CPF by the time we want to retire, then where are we going to get the cash to retire on?

(2) If “The homes that we own are part of our retirement assets too,… with the option to sell our homes when we need to”, then when we sell the “homes” for retirement funds, where are we going to live?

(3) How many Singaporeans are actually able to use their CPF to buy their homes and then still have enough money to buy other basic necessities, and then be able to retire? Khaw Boon Wah had famously said that a Singaporean who earns $1,000 can still a afford a HDB flat. You can read what Alex Au had queried here.

(4) How many Singaporeans still have SPARE CASH in their CPF after using their CPF to buy the flats? In the CPF Board’s Annual Report, the government claimed that, “In 2012, 35,182 active CPF members turned 55, of which 48.7% were able to set aside their full Minimum Sum.” But do you know that the CPF Board’s definition of who is able to meet the CPF Minimum Sum includes those who are able to meet it “either fully in cash, or partly in cash and partly via a property pledge”?

So, for those who are able to meet the CPF Minimum Sum fully in cash, how many Singaporeans are able to do so? Mr Leong Sze Hian had estimated that nearly 90% of Singaporeans would not be able to do so.

So, since the government had come out with such a fanciful argument which doesn’t tell the complete picture, then let’s ask the government some questions to try to complete the picture which they had left hanging:

(1) How many Singaporeans have not been able to finance their home loans because they run out of cash or CPF?
(2) How many Singaporeans had to have their homes repossessed because they could not finance their home loans?
(3) How many Singaporeans are able to meet the CPF Minimum Sum entirely in cash?
(5) How many Singaporeans are not able to have enough spare cash to retire on and have had to resort to selling their homes?
(6) And let’s not forget, because the government has also made us use our CPF to pay for our medical bills, how many Singaporeans then do not have enough in their CPF/Medisave, and do not have enough cash, and are thus forced to sell their homes to pay for their medical bills?

Would The PAP Ministers Sell Their Homes To Retire?

Very fanciful story that the government had crafted but tell me this – for the PAP ministers who have bought their homes, would they buy into their own ridiculous logic that when they retire, they would also rely on selling their homes to generate cash for them to retire on?

Well, of course, in the first place, they would have already paid themselves well enough not to have to do that. They moreover earn millions of dollars. Also, by now, everyone is shocked by how rich Mah Bow Tan is. And who can forget ex-Member of Parliament (MP) Michael Lim’s sprawling mansion? MPs can also earn so much?

Now, I would like to see the PAP ministers be willing to sell off ALL their homes and be willing to “downgrade” into a cramped one-room flat. But I don’t even know how to make a fair comparison. How many homes do they have in the first place? And even after selling their homes, how many millions would they have left?

It’s quite honestly ridiculous that they expect us to retire on cash, and then on a home which we cannot otherwise eat on drink from, unless they had magically build a candy house like in Hansel and Gretel, then yes maybe, Singaporeans can live on cash and by eating our own homes.

Our Retirement Funds Are No Longer Our Retirement Funds

That the government would see it fit to ask Singaporeans to retire by selling our homes doesn’t just fly in the face of logic, but that they have the cheek to say that is complete obnoxious and highly irresponsible. In which country do you see the government tell its citizens – when you retire, I am going to give you a small little retirement allowance and if you need to, please sell your home to earn more.

And even if the government wants to claim that “international studies on pension systems … often ignore … the fact that … The homes that we own are part of our retirement assets too”, then let’s also compare how much citizens of the other countries have in cash, as well as including their properties. I’m not surprised if Singapore still has the least adequate “retirement funds” among the developed countries, when we include people’s “homes” as well.

There are so many ways to completely tear the government’s argument apart. In the first place, why did our retirement fund become something used for retirement, housing, healthcare, education and so many things else? Our retirement fund is supposed to be just that – our retirement fund. In other countries, the tax that we pay would be enough to give free healthcare and education – and as I’ve explained before, Singaporeans pay as much as the Nordic countries do already so we should also rightfully be able to receive free healthcare and education. Also, in other countries, we would be paid enough of a wage so that we can use our own voluntary savings to buy a flat and even when we take up a loan, be able to afford it. We wouldn’t need to rely on our retirement funds to purchase flats with jacked-up prices. We would be able to use our complete retirement funds to retire when we want to.

I don’t even know how to explain how the government’s explanation, or rather, excuse, is so wrong on so many levels.

The people’s retirement funds are our retirement funds. So just give it back. Please do not come out with a whole list of excuses and pretenses just because you don’t want to give it back to us.

If the only way for us to get our retirement funds back is to vote you out so that we can take it back, we will do so.

QUESTION 2: Why Does The Government Make Us Pay The Accrued Interest But Will Not Increase CPF Interest Rates?

I’ve also written previously about accrued interest, and the government had responded by saying:

it is only right that if we were to sell our home, we should return what we have borrowed (i.e. the principal amount) plus the interest we would have earned had the money not been taken out from our CPF account (accrued interest). This amount is returned to our own CPF accounts for our future retirement needs.

Accrued interest needs to be refunded to our CPF accounts upon the sale of our home as long as the sales proceeds is sufficient to pay back the principal and interest.

Here’s what not said:

(1) Why is it “only right that if we were to sell my home, we should return what we have borrowed”? It’s our money in the first place, right? If we want to pay an interest, we will pay it. If we don’t want to, we won’t pay for it. Who decided it’s “only right”? Did the government ask Singaporeans?

(2) Also, the CPF Board also said that the “Accrued interest needs to be refunded … as long as the sales proceeds is sufficient to pay back the principal and interest”. How many Singaporeans actually earn enough profit to pay back the “accrued interest”? How many Singaporeans are able to pay back the “accrued interest” and still be able to make profit, if at all? If you understand this, when you earn a profit on the sale of the flat, do you really earn a profit? Do you think the government will let you earn that profit?

(3) My next point pertains to the CPF interest rate. If I don’t have enough inside my CPF, is it because I didn’t pay back the “accrued interest” or is it because I wasn’t paid a high interest by the government in the first place?

See if you can see this – when I pay an accrued interest, I have to use my cash in hand to pay for it. There’s no money earned – it goes from my pocket into “my” CPF. But when the government pays me a high(er) interest, this is additional cash coming into my CPF.

Accrued interest from myself = no extra money. Higher interest from government = extra money.

You see how they skid around their responsibility?

You see what the government is trying to do? It doesn’t want to pay you additional, so it makes you pay for yourself.

But let’s clarify further – let’s touch on the CPF interest rate.

QUESTION 3: Why Does The Government Use Our CPF To Invest But Not Give Us Back The Interest Earned?

The government claimed that:

There is no connection between GIC’s rate of return and the interest paid on our CPF accounts.

Very simple, then don’t use our CPF to invest in the GIC.

The government can obfuscate the issue but when India, Malaysia and Hong Kong all run similar provident fund systems and are able to generate returns of between an average of 6.5% to 9.5%, then something is very wrong when Singapore’s provident fund is only able to generate only 2.5% to 4%.

Perhaps the government would then like to explain this contradiction:

(1) Why does the government see it necessary to increase the CPF Minimum Sum to “maintain the real value” of the CPF Minimum Sum, but does not see it necessary to increase the CPF interest rates to “maintain the real value” of the CPF? The 2.5% to 4% is lower than inflation, which means that the real value of our CPF has actually not grown!

(2) So why the contradiction? If the real value of our CPF is not growing, then why does the government want us to pay more into the CPF Minimum Sum to “maintain the real value”? Doesn’t that mean the government is intentionally making it harder for us to meet the CPF Minimum Sum?

The government also claimed that, “GIC’s and Temasek’s returns supplement the annual Budget through their  Net Investment Returns Contribution (NIRC), which amounted to $8.1 billion this fiscal year.”

Do you know that last year, the overall CPF balance had accumulated $253 billion? Do you know that $8.1 billion is only a puny 3% of the overall CPF balance? And how much of this actually directly benefitted us?

So, here are some questions:

(1) Last year, there was $253 billion in the overall CPF balance. Singaporeans only withdrew $14.8 billion, or 5.9%. Where did the rest of our 94.1% of our CPF disappear to?

(2) If the government sees it fit to allow us to withdraw only 5.9% and spend another 3% through the NIRC, then if the government has enough money, why didn’t the government return it to our CPF to allow Singaporeans to withdraw it?

(3) The government’s response still doesn’t answer the question – why is it that Singapore has now accumulated one of the largest pension funds – 8th – in the world but Singaporeans have the least adequate retirement funds in the world? Something is not right somewhere. There’s something they are not telling us.

(4) And then why has the 8th largest pension in the world help to earn the 8th and 9th largest sovereign wealth funds in the world (GIC and Temasek Holdings respectively), but Singaporeans have the least adequate pension in the world?

Do you see where the government’s logic is? Instead of giving you back higher returns for your CPF directly, the government tells you, don’t worry, we will give it back to you via NIRC. Is this what we had asked for?

Just Give Us One High Interest Rate On The Whole CPF Already

The government also said that:

Aside from the return on our Ordinary Account, Singaporeans enjoy higher interest rates on their other CPF accounts- 4% on our Special, Medisave and Retirement Accounts, and an additional 1% on their first $60,000 in all our accounts

Back to the same questions:
(1) The 2.5% is the lowest in the world. It’s even lower than inflation. The real value of our CPF gets eroded.
(2) The majority of our CPF goes into the Ordinary Account, which means that our CPF is mainly earning the lowest interest rate of 2.5% in the world. (3) The additional 1% applies to only the first $60,000. Should we fall on our knees and thank the government for this “gift”.

Let me tell you what – there was one time in the 1980s where our CPF was earning a straight 6.5%.

There wasn’t ridiculous things like splitting the CPF into the Ordinary Account which is made to earn a lower interest rate, then having another Special Account on another interest rate and there was no additional 1% on the first $60,000.

In the 1980s, there was just one CPF and we earned one interest on it. Simple as that.

Because in the 1980s, the 6.5% interest rate is higher than any of the current tactics by the PAP. There wasn’t a need to create fanciful categories or to have to create excuses like the government is doing now.

So, let me tell you what – just give us a straight interest rate on our WHOLE CPF.

The government likes to claim that the GIC “carry higher risks” and wants to shelter us. How magnanimous. For the record, the Temasek Holdings has been showing off about how they’ve been earning 16% and the GIC has been showing off about how they’ve been earning 6.5%. If they have such consistent performances, and the government was able to give high interest rates on our CPF in the 1980s and some parts of the 1990s but are then unable (or unwilling) to do so now, then quite obviously you can see that they logic doesn’t hold water.

QUESTION 4: If The Government Would Increase The CPF Minimum Sum To Maintain Its Real Value, Why Would The Government Not Increase Wages To Maintain The Value Of Our Wages?

The CPF Minimum Sum is one huge contradiction. The government claimed that:

The Minimum Sum(MS) is adjusted for inflation on an annual basis for each cohort.

Also, the government had claimed that the CPF Minimum Sum was increased to “maintain its real value”.

So, here is what it is:

(1) Do you know that if our wages were increased as fast as the CPF Minimum Sum from 1995, the minimum that anyone would earn in Singapore would be $3,200?

(2) Even if our wages had grown with inflation, the minimum that anyone would be paid today would be $2,100.
But as it is, the government is only willing to give a “minimum” wage of $1,000 for low-income Singaporeans and 30% to 40% of Singaporeans still earn less than $2,000 today.

So, if the government truly wants to “ensure that our nest egg is spread out comfortably to last us not just for one or two years after retirement, but throughout our golden years,” then why would the government not want to increase our wages and the CPF interest rates to also keep pace with inflation?

If the government is not willing to increase wages and the CPF interest rates to “maintain their real value” but would only increase the CPF Minimum Sum to “maintain its real value”, then you know something is going on.

Wanting to allow us to retire comfortably “throughout our golden years” is a very bold claim when the HSBC The Future of Retirement Life after work? report had shown that Singaporeans savings are only expected to last us for 9 years, and note that of the savings, only 21% is expected to come from the state pension(s)/benefits. So is your CPF adequate?

Can you see how hypocritical the PAP is?

Exposing The Contradictions And Truths About The CPF

Put simply, there are many ways to tear the PAP’s argument apart. Do you know why? It is because there are many things the PAP is not telling and is hiding.

8th largest CPF retirement funds in the world. Least adequate CPF retirement funds.
Up to 16% earned using our CPF but only 2.5% returned.

Well, what do they want to hide? What are they keeping from us? Our money?

When you look at things from as clear and straight a picture as you can, then whatever logical leaps, fallacies and confusions that the PAP tries to create can all be seen through clearly.

Really? Retirement funds which include selling your home? If all the other countries understand retirement funds to be simply actual cash that you have in your retirement funds and Singapore is the only country that wants to define it differently by including property, then either something is very wrong with all the other 200 countries and governments in the world or the Singapore PAP government is pulling a really fast one.

As someone on my Facebook had remarked:

A quick calculation on the back of the envelope will tell you that with the new minimum sum, one would need to earn $3600 per month for an uninterrupted period of 30 years before seeing anything from your CPF at the age of 55. What is the percentile of people earning $3600 per month in Singapore?

(I haven’t looked at the calculations but I presume $3,600 includes for meeting the CPF Minimum Sum fully in cash, after purchasing a flat.)

Do you think the government knows this? Of course they’ve calculated and known this. Then why would the government still do it?

If the government would still increase the CPF Minimum Sum knowing that you would need to earn $3,600 every month in order to be able to meet it but would not increase your wages, then you know this government has a very insidious agenda and it has nothing to do with taking care of you.

And do you know that about 60% of Singaporeans earn less than $3,600 every month?

To put it very simply, if you earn the lowest $800 today (and even 15 years ago), about $300 would go into your CPF every month. And if you earn the median income of about $3,000, about $1,000 would go into your CPF every month. Do you know that the lowest CPF monthly payout for when you retire today is $350 and most Singaporeans would receive this amount. Can you imagine putting $300 to $1,000 every month and only getting $350 back monthly when you retire? Imagine you would have been working for 40 years and would most probably spend about another 15 years in retirement. What happened to all those interest earned? If you are getting lesser every month than what you had put in every month and you’ve put all the money in for 40 years but take even lesser out in 15 years, then where did all the money go?

Maybe let me ask one more thing – is the CPF a tax? If you understand how they’ve artificially jacked up the housing price to extract even more out of your CPF, then pay you a low interest into your CPF so that your earnings are not returned, you will understand how all the money that’s been forcefully taken away from you is actually a tax that you are paying.

What happened to our retirement funds? Do you see how wrong this is on many levels? What the PAP is PAP doing with our retirement funds?

How To Clean Up The CPF?

But what should we do with the CPF then, you ask? Very simple:
(1) Increase wages so that CPF contributions will increase to increase individual CPF contributions.
(2) Increase the CPF interest rate so that the individual CPF balance will increase – one high interest rate for the whole CPF.
(3) With increased interest rates, CPF payouts will increase.

It’s actually very simple. There’s no need to create the Ordinary Account, Special and Medisave Account, CPF Minimum Sum, Medisave Minimum Sum, Medisave Contribution Ceiling, additional 1% for first $60,000 and so on and so forth. All these are meant to confuse and complicate, so that in all that confusion, we accept what we are given. And so, we accept the ridiculously low $350 every month.

You know, we’ve begged them for long enough. For Singaporeans older than I am, they would remember that we’ve been begging the government to take care of Singaporeans for more than the past 10 years.

That the government still has the audacity to come out with something as hypocritical, contradictory and two-faced, just so that they can hide their secret agenda, is disgusting and downright despicable. Can you imagine how in the face of strong public anger and resistance, that the government still has the thickness of the skin to continue to want to contort the truth for their own benefits?

Finally, there’s still one very important question left unanswered – why has the PAP put themselves in the government and the GIC and can claim that they do not know how our CPF is being used by the GIC? What are they trying to hide?

But do you know why they are defending their version of the CPF so relentlessly. The CPF is the crux for which their whole entrapment plan against Singaporeans lie. Once the truth about the CPF is clearly exposed and open for all the see, their whole pack of cards fall. And so they will fight tooth and nail to discredit this blog.

Of course, there are those affiliated to the PAP who pursues that I am the one who is contorting the truth.

Well, the information is all out there. I know that at night, I can sleep well, knowing I have acted with my conscience clear. I will leave it for Singaporeans to mull over it. But when we are ready, it’s time to stand up to fight for our freedoms and to protect ourselves.

Aside, I do pity the copywriters of the government’s article. I cannot imagine what they must have had to put through to create the article, knowing how much they would have had to self-censor themselves from the truth.

In view of the unreasonable increase in the CPF Minimum Sum, we will be organising an event on 7 June at 5pm to call for Singaporeans’ CPF to be returned to us.

You can join the Facebook event page here.

Return Our CPF Poster 1

 

We have also started a petition to the Singapore government to honour our contributions to our CPF and return our CPF to Singaporeans. You can sign the petition here.

Return Our CPF Colour Demands 3

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53 comments

  1. Fed up with too much propaganda lies

    Contrary to what the PAP says, the HDB “home” that we own is NEVER a retirement “asset”. Real assets that Singaporeans own don’t come with 99 lease that will be returned to the government; real assets don’t get redeveloped willy nilly into condos and malls as and when the government deems your HDB flat to be in the way of profits (e.g. HDB blocks opposite Clementi, Rochor flats, Hillview’s HDB flats opposite Glendale Park Condo); real assets don’t come with tons of onerous rules and regulations regulating how and when you can sell, rent and valuate your HDB flat.

    The so-called HDB “asset” is just a rental mortage scheme to generate rent for the rentiers PAP economy.

    • Sgcynic

      Our children now have a noose tied around each of their necks paying off a 30 year “affordable” loan to “own” that asset so that perhaps we can monetise ours and help them pay off theirs and move in with them so that we can “retire” with enough. Uniquely Singapore!

  2. kokwee

    Great article. I hope the PAP dogs would come and challenge you on this so that we can tear them apart.

  3. annoymous

    Do note that all the focus have been on min sum but the amount you need to set aside include medisave as well. so the in crease in min sum is actually 7k + 3k. 10k ~~ do my salary gets adjusted 10 k a year to feed cpf?

  4. LHL gotta go

    the CPF scheme is a hoax and a failure. Temasek, headed by Ho Ching just blew $39B in the last 9 months, that makes more than $200 a day.. Go read the Wall Street Journal.

    • Rinna

      CPF no longer a sum for retirement, as it become a fund for them to invest and making loses. That why they always set the target high for achieve, ensure none of us able get our retirement fund. All Singaporeans cpf fund most likely are tight in investment. Early withdrawal to pay out will incured huge sum of loses. I just wonder why our hard earned money must take care my Government, and we are not able to withdraw out when currently we facing financial difficulties or out of job.

      My dad went CPF to request for withdrawal of CPF as he is retired and out of job. It was turned down, they persuaded him to sold off his flat and downgrade instead. What kinda of joke is that?

  5. Lenny

    I think your comparisons can be tighter. Spore has one of the highest ownership figures in the world, and this fact significantly affects how we should view the success of our system.

    Some countries may have better retirement funds but low home ownership. In fact, it is virtually unheard of in some developed countries
    for a graduate couple who has just started working to own a flat, especially in the city. Most simply rent. In Spore, applying for a HDB flat is something a graduate couple takes for granted. For a small dwnpayment, you get keysto your own flat.

    Not to bring too many issues into the matter but you need to consider the home ownership rates in othe countries, along with the tax paid for a better comparison.

    Sweden for example, has a high tax rate and only 70% of home ownership, compared to Spore’s 90%. This means that while a Swede may have more retirement funds, 20% less of Swedes own a home compared to a Sporean. In Japan, only 60% own a home.

    Whether it is 99yrs or not is a side issue, you still buy and sell and it is still money in the pocket.

    • Roy Ngerng

      No other country uses their homes for their retirement funds.

      Only the Singapore government claims that the property can be seen as the retirement fund, when sold.

      How much you can retire on depends on how much cash you have to retire on, not how much you can sell your house to retire on.

      No logical sense.

      • Churn Pang

        I agree, retirement depends on CASH savings, and retirement adequacy should not be dependent on sale of property.

        Roy does this mean that you feel that CPF should NOT be used for property, and should be purely kept as CASH for retirement? One additional benefit of this is that contribution rates need not be so high. People will have more take-home pay instead, and should save themselves to buy property if they want to.

      • Roy Ngerng

        Hi,

        (1) CPF interest rates should be increased. At one point, CPF interest rates in the 1980s were as high as 6.5%.

        (2) New HDB flat prices should be more affordable so that Singaporeans are able to more easily afford them.

        (3) Wages should increase faster. The CPF Minimum Sum has increased much faster than inflation, but wages have barely increased. The CPF interest rates have not as well. We need increase wages faster so that Singaporeans are able to save more and retire.

        (4) CPF payouts should be increased. The minimum payout now of $350 is too low and not enough for basic use. With the increased wages and CPF interest rates, Singaporeans should be able to earn more on our CPF and have more to retire on.

      • Churn Pang

        But Roy, if CPF is for retirement, and property should not be relied on to fund retirement, logically CPF should not be used to purchase houses.

        Cannot have it both ways.

        Either CPF can be used to buy houses, that members rely on for retirement funds … or CPF should not be used to buy houses.

      • Roy Ngerng

        Hello,

        The current situation pertaining to our CPF is this:

        (a) Housing prices are too expensive – Singapore has the highest public housing prices in the world, and one of the highest.

        (b) Wages have hardly grow. Singaporeans earn the lowest wages among the high-income countries.

        (c) Singaporeans have to contribute the largest proportion of our wages into CPF in the world.

        (d) At the current situation, most Singaporeans simply do not have anymore spare cash from our own pockets to pay for housing.

        (e) As such, the situation is such that we have to use our CPF to pay for housing – because we do not have enough in our hands.

        (f) And because of this, we deplete our CPF with the housing loan and are not able to save enough. As such, we cannot retire.

        *****

        In an optimal scenario,

        (a) The prices of public housing should be pegged to the cost price of construction, as they once were in the earlier days of Singapore. More Singaporeans would be able to easily afford housing.

        (2) Wages would have increased with inflation. If our wages had grown as fast as the CPF Minimum Sum had, today, the minimum that any Singaporean would earn is $3,200.

        (c) With more affordable housing and higher wages, Singaporeans would be easily able to afford to buy public housing and pay for it using cash for our pockets. Not only that, we would only need to pay for the flat for a much shorter period and still have spare cash left in our hands for other uses.

        (d) When interest rates are increased on the CPF, we would also be able to save more in our CPF and retire. All Singaporeans would be able to retire at 65, and with the retirement funds, be able to spend and contribute back to the economy.

      • Churn Pang

        CPF has the highest contribution rates in the world BECAUSE it can be used to purchase houses.

        For example, before Age 35 Singaporeans contribute 23% of their salary to the Ordinary Account, which can be used to purchase houses.

        If stop use of CPF for housing, theoretically, and to be fair, Singaporeans should be able to pocket the 23% contribution as extra take-home pay. They will then have spare cash to pay for housing, if they take responsibility and choose to save the 23% themselves.

      • Roy Ngerng

        Hello,

        What is your point?

        (1) Do you agree housing should be made more affordable and pegged to the cost price of construction?

        (2) Do you agree that the CPF interest rates should be increased so that Singaporeans would be able to earn more on our CPF, save more and be able to retire?

        (3) Do you agree that CPF payouts should be much higher and that with more affordable housing and higher CPF interest rates, that our CPF payouts would increase?

        (4) Do you think wages should be increased much faster (it would have been $3,200 if it had kept pace with the CPF Minimum Sum) so that we would be able to set aside more, have more to buy housing, and have more to save and retire on?

      • Lenny

        As someone who wishes to present an intellectual argument, I’m sure you would agree whether another country in the world does this or that doesn’t make a policy more right or wrong. There is only one Spore and we have our own unique circumstances.

        LKY’s view was to provide Sporeans a home, to give us a sense of belonging to the country.

        The first point I was making is that in some of the countries you have selected to make a comparison to Spore, it is worth noting that some of these developed countries have low home ownership. Perhaps I should spell it out more clearly. While they may have more retirement funds, they do not have a home. What good is that?

        A tighter comparison, and the one that the CPF Board is saying, is to take into account home ownership. In other words, compare no home ownership to no home ownership and home ownership vs home ownership.

        Now, I should point out that this may not necessarily make Sporeans appear all that much better in terms of money in the bank but it will give us a better picture. An Australian may have $500, 000 in the bank but no home. Well, if a Sporean sells his flat, in all likelihood, he may have $500, 000 in the bank.

        The second point is that Spore home ownership is relatively easy to achieve and something that my friends do admire. If you say, forget this whole business of home ownership, then the question is whether you’re prepared to go the route of Sweden, which demands high taxes and 20% less of Sporeans wil own homes. No point gushing all over a Scandanavian country without mentioning the costs involved.

        So all in, the CPF and housing of Sporeans are not outstanding but reasonable when compared to developed countries.

      • Roy Ngerng

        Hello Lenny,

        (1) You tried very much to frame your argument around the value of home ownership. However, you had not presented clear statistics and made several assumptions.

        (2) What you have chosen not to take into account are other factors, such as wages, cost of living and purchasing power.

        (3) Once we factor them in, we will note that in other high-income countries, wages and purchasing power are higher than in Singapore. As such, even as people are to rent, they would be able to do so for longer periods.

        (4) Moreover, you use the existing propaganda that Singaporeans own our homes. It has already been revealed that Singaporeans do not have title deeds on the flats we buy and that after the lease, the flat has zero value. In effect, we are paying an upfront cost of renting the flat.

        (5) If we are to understand this concept, Singaporeans aren’t “owning” the flats. In fact, we are made to pay rental upfront. And if you compare it apple to apple, because citizens in the other high-income countries have higher wages and purchasing power and a lower cost of living, which means cheaper housing and rents, than Singapore, it means that they can far afford their rental than Singaporeans.

        I reiterate: we need to peg housing to the cost price of construction, ensure Singaporeans’ wages go up, so that we are both able to save and retire and be able to afford a roof over our heads.

        You have yet to explain if the prices of flats in Singapore are justifiable.

      • Lenny

        Lenny,

        Thanks for the civil discussion.

        I did provide statistics of home ownership around the world but please google it up for a more complete figure. You arguments on purchasing power varies from country to country. Things in Europe and Japan are not cheap by any means. And I think to get a better assessment, it would be better to compare with cities. Some cities are definitely more expensive than Spore and Spore is not significantly more expensive than others.

        I have indeed taken into account wages, purchasing power and so on and forth.

        But let me see if I can explain this in an easier way without too many cumbersome figures and address your bugbear about owning flats and other complaints. Let’s talk about tax. 80% of Sporeans do not actually pay tax. If one lives in a HDB (subsided housing) and does not own a vehicle, one effectively does not pay tax. Whether it is a grant of $30, 000 for a resale or about $100, 000 off market value of a new flat, one does not pay tax. Why? Because the amount of tax one pays is not going to be $30, 000 over a lifetime of working. This same person also sends his kids to public school and takes public transport. The long and short of it is that a Sporean who lives in a HDB, and does not own a car, takes more than he gives.

        And we need not quibble over this. If you believe that the person living in a HDB gives more than he gets, I tell you what, let him keep all the tax but go find his own housing, transport, education and so on. I apologise for sounding harsh but I think Sporeans like yourself are unaware that the PAP is very socialist. You may then ask who actually pays tax in this country? It’s the 20% living in private properties, owning a car, sending their kids to private school.

        You provide no intellectual or moral argument why we should peg housing to construction costs. It’s just a political view, or your wish list, so nothing to debate here. My own political view is that the government has no business building flats for 80% of the population to begin with. As you say, “no logic”. The government’s role is to provide a safe environment, equal opportunity and ease of doing business. If one doesn’t succeed despite all the opportunities to do so, can one then turn around and blame the government for not being able to afford a flat? If the wish of some Sporeans is for the PAP to stop being a nanny, then they ought to grow up, stand on their own two feet and stop asking daddy to provide for everything.

        You use the word “should” quite often. My view is that HDB “should” only build 2 room flats for the bottom 20% of the population, those in real need. The beauty, splendor and luxury of 4 room flats and above is a laugh. Why are taxpayers subsidising people to live in flats larger than condos?

        So if your gripe is that you don’t actually own the HDB flat or whatever, my response is to say that the government should just get out of this business of building flats for Sporeans who are able to fend for themselves. Unless you can provide me an argument why taxpayers have to ensure the non-taxpayers should have playgrounds, quality furnishings and so on. I rolled off my chair laughing when I read about HDB upgrading years ago. Millions spent to build covered walkways. Spoiled brats or what? Wait a minute, I thought these guys were broke, hence they need to live in subsidised housing? But I accept that this was LKY’s vision of home ownership. To root people to the country. Hence we have this rather absurd situation where 80% of Sporeans believe they are entitled to housing by the government. Now where in the world, as you like to say, would you find a young graduate couple who feels that the government is lousy since they can’t immediately afford their own flat? Or a taxpayer, who pays millions for his 60sqm private property to live in unfancy Jurong subsidising a chap to live in a 60sqm HDB in prime district Tanjong Pagar. It’s a laugh.

        In a similar vein, I do not agree with your other political views such as CPF interest rates “should” be pegged to GIC profits. Why should it? It’s again your wish list. I would say, if you wish to peg it to anything, why not peg it to tax paid? The more tax a person pays, the higher his CPF interest rate. After all, he contributes more to the country. Some pay no tax at all. This seems to me more fair. Why should the payout be the same when some invest more than others in the country?

        And I’m not pushing any propaganda. I’m just giving my views, and I believe many are like me, who are aware of the mechanics of HDB. It’s just that, it doesn’t really matter when at the end of the day, you make money. What you’re interested in is the principle of it all. Which is fine. For most people, we’re only interested if the value is there. Let me try to explain using an analogy. You’re screaming, “Sentosa cove is 99 years! It’ll be zero value after 99 yrs, it would depreciate!” You’re not wrong but property in Sentosa Cove has gone up double. So moot point. In principle, 99 yrs property should have depreciating value but in reality, you still make money and that is really all most people are concerned about.

      • Roy Ngerng

        Hello,

        Please read my previous articles:

        (1) Singaporeans pay 38% in tax and CPF. This is not too different from what the European countries pay. The returns we get back is paltry.

        (2) Singaporeans pay almost as much per capita as a citizen in the Nordic countries. However, a Singaporean has to pay for the most expensive out-of-pocket amount for health and the most expensive university education in the world, while the Nordic citizens are able to receive healthcare and education for free.

        Please read my previous articles.

        Thank you.

      • Lenny

        Let me clear up a couple of things that you asked. Peg HDB flats to construction costs? You devalue the country in real ways. Marine Parade is not the same price as Kranji. Land costs are real. Marine Parade was a complete mistake. Prime land which faced the sea turned into a HDB town.

        As for your grouses on CPF, are you aware that you can use your OA and SA for investment? So what people like me don’t understand is why you’re making so much fuss over the 2.5% payout. If you don’t like it, you can always move your money to other investments. Most of my CPF money is invested so what’s the issue? GIC or Temasek don’t get to use my money for investment because my CPF money is invested elsewhere.

        And if you think GIC or Temasek are enjoying good returns, there is nothing to stop you from buying the shares of Temasek-linked companies with your CPF money. Aren’t you creating a storm in a teacup?

      • Roy Ngerng

        (1) The PAP government owns most of the land in Singapore. They determine the price of the land.

        (2) The CPF was created to invest Singaporeans’ CPF to earn interest for Singaporeans to retire. If the government cannot do that, but Singaporeans still have to sacrifice our salaries into an agency and agencies which cannot perform that, then it speaks volumes about the incapability of the PAP government.

        (3) The GIC and Temasek Holdings uses our CPF to earn 6.5% and 16% respectively. Return us the interest earned by to our CPF.

      • Lenny

        You claim the government ‘dictates’ the price of land. I mean they can insist a plot of land in Shenton Way is only $1 and a same-sized plot of land in Jurong is a million but how does that work? What would be your point except to make absurd valuations on the price of land? You mean people would actually find Jurong valuable and Shenton Way not valuable? All that would happen is everyone would queue for Shenton Way and refuse to buy Jurong. Only an idiot would think the land in Jurong is the same price as Shenton Way and be willing to pay the same price for a flat.The government rates the land at market value which seems to me the more sensible thing to do.

        You have ignored my point. CPF allows Sporeans to invest in a variety of investment products via CPF. If you don’t like the government rates, your funds are in a sense returned to you. You have completely freedom to invest in other rated funds. So the question is why are you moaning about the rates when you have a choice to invest elsewhere? If you think the returns are paltry, then by all means, put your money in another fund that is more competent in your view. You say the government’s rates are low but you don’t exercise the option to put your money elsewhere. Weird.

        I hope you are able to conduct a discussion based on facts. GIC and Temasek can ONLY use your CPF money IF you leave your money in CPF. If your CPF money is transferred to an investment account or put in gold for eg or if you use it to finance your homes, GIC and Temasek have no access to your money. You keep grumbling CPF uses your money but don’t want to transfer your funds out. If you think there is a fund out there that can do better than CPF, by all means, go ahead and put your money in the fund. You can buy bonds, gold, pay off your HDB flat and so on. Why aren’t you doing so?

      • Roy Ngerng

        (1) Does the CPF still serve it’s purpose if Singaporeans have to contribute the highest proportion of our wages into CPF in the world but receive the lowest returns on the CPF in the world?

        (2) Should prices of public housing be increased so drastically that Singaporeans have to spend so much of our CPF into housing so much so that we do not have enough CPF to retire on?

        (3) Has the GIC and Temasek Holdings asked for the permission of Singaporeans to use our CPF to invest in those firms?

        (4) Has the GIC and Temasek Holdings asked for the permission of Singaporeans not to return the interest earned back to Singaporeans?

        (5) Are there full reports published by the GIC and Temasek Holdings on our the funds are performing and how they are accountable to Singaporeans?

        (6) Singaporeans can use their CPF to invest in other funds. But they would expect the transparency and accountability of these funds. For Singaporeans who choose to keep their funds in the CPF, the same sort of transparency and accountability is required.

        (7) Not all Singaporeans are interested in investing in external funds. However, if the government would dictate that Singaporeans set aside the largest proportion of our wages into CPF in the world into a national pension fund, a government has the responsibility to be transparent and accountable to its citizens on how the funds are used.

        (8) A government also has the responsibility to ensure that it invests the retirement funds of its citizens prudently to help them earn for their retirement. The GIC and Temasek Holdings are obviously able to invest and earn substantially, at between 6.5% to 16%. This interest has to be accountable and returned to Singaporeans.

        (9) The interest that Singaporeans are currently – at a low of 2.5% – is not clearly accounted for and shows a lack of transparency and honesty in the current government’s administering of our retirement funds.

      • Lenny

        1. For the third time, if you chose to leave your CPF money in CPF, then you would get 2.5% and 4%. However, if you invest in other funds and stock, you may get more or less than 2.5% or 4%. Your statement that CPF returns are the lowest in the world is simply untrue because it depends on who bought what. Ali may have bought SPH, got paid his dividends and if the stock holds, would do better than 2.5% You may have held on to the CPF. I on the other hand, may have bought a dud unit trust. There is no way you can make the claim that CPF returns are the lowest when you have no idea who invested in what. A factually true statement is that one’s CPF returns is dependent on one’s investment.

        2. You’re moving onto another matter or rather different matters. A drastic increase in housing prices doesn’t make pricing land at Shenton Way at $0 more sensible and pegging housing to construction costs. Again, you use the word “should”. If you ask those who are selling, it “should” increase as much as possible. Two sides to a coin.

        3. GIC and Temasek are accountable to the Government, who are voted in by the majority. Suck it up if you weren’t with the majority vote.

        4. Not all Sporeans invested with GIC and Temasek. Many have used their money for HDB and others have their cash in investment accounts. I don’t see why GIC and Temasek should return money to me when they have never used my money to invest. Maybe you can explain why Ali has to return money to me when I gave my money to Bala.

        5. There are reports. No reports are ever “full”.

        6. The transparency is that you get 2.5% and 4%, guaranteed by the Government. What more do you need? You mean when you do a FD, the bank tells you what your money is used for? Who cares about such stuff?

        7. If you’re not interested in investing in other funds, is that your problem or the government’s? Your own retirement and if you don’t think about how to maximise gains, it’s the government’s fault? Please take some responsibility over your own nest egg. The government is offering 1 egg. You say no good, others are giving out 2 eggs. So just invest in those you think are giving out 2 eggs. If the government was superman, we wouldn’t need other banks in Spore since no one can compete. The Government puts its offer on the table, you can chose not to take it and go elsewhere. If you’re not interested in shopping, it’s really your problem.

        8. The government is very prudent. You can only invest in other safe funds – triple a rating. Again, I raise the question: you want a nanny or you wanna take some responsibility over your own retirement?

        9. That’s your view. Refer to 6.

    • jonathan how

      i am glad that there are sensible people like you.

      Our nurseboy is obviously intellectual incapable of differentiating what is income tax and what is CPF.

      As it is, he wants to live in his own world that he is being victimised, I am fine with that.

      I really would hope he refrains from using the phrase that he is speaking for all singaporeans.

      Cause really, the only ones that he is speaking up for are the sillyporeans who are disgruntled, self-entitled and doesn’t take action to better themselves in pursuit of happiness that each desires.

      I have no pity for such folks, who in their later years, need to leech the system for hand-outs.

      Sorry, he needs to take a trip to the western societies to know this, if u are on government cheese, it’s not going to be the most desirable as it’s not meant to be.

      He is obviously a danger to singapore, as he gathers the critical mass to his unfounded logic.

      • Angeline Low

        Lenny has made a great point here in his post and Roy, you don’t end the conversation when you have nothing else to say by saying ‘Readers will judge our logic. Thank you.’. If you have nothing to say, admit it.

        Roy claims that the tax rate here is 38% taking into account all aspects. This figure is then compared to that of other countries. Now, here’s the problem with all your assumptions. You have never actually lived in the country. Data is one thing, the human factor counts more. You talk about purchasing power. Are you sure? Australia has great purchasing power but their cost of living is so expensive anyway. You may earn much more there but things like rent and groceries will suck you dry. The cynics in Singapore love to talk about migrating to leave this country and its people behind but has anyone ever looked at those who went there and came back after? It isn’t a fairytale there. Maybe its the influence of popular culture but people love to talk about America as well. Well, its time to break your illusion about America. Sure, housing is cheap and cars are plentiful there but the cost of living is high and you lose more than you gain when you move there. Trust me. This reminds me of what Roy said in the previous posts about pegging housing prices to construction costs. This once again comes down to economics which Roy has conveniently left out in his conversations with us ordinary citizens. If the price of housing is low, demand will increase and since supply wouldn’t be able to meet demand at that stage, we hit the shortage problem. Housing is expensive for one reason. Land is scarce in Singapore and the opportunity cost of building housing versus that of industrial parks is one of contention. Obviously there are places where housing is the obvious choice so no problems there but one has to look at the larger picture here. Its the same argument about cars and COE. If COE was cheap and ERP wasn’t here, everyone would own a car but then we won’t get anywhere. If you’re so eager to see the effects of that, head over to Jakarta or China and drive during the peak hour. See how far you get. You know what you’ll be asking for if that happens? Cheaper petrol. Because you burn so much waiting in the car.

        The CPF was intended as a safety net for you as you grow old. It is a mandated savings program, one of the few in the world. What people are suggesting these days is a healthcare system that covers you from cradle to coffin. That isn’t going to happen. Britain has already made that mistake and look where it is now. We need to wake up from what people are saying and look at the world outside of our little red dot. Read beyond the dense reports and statistics. Look at the people, culture and places. Its all different. Some have done things right, other wrong., We should learn from their mistakes to build a better future for ourselves and not build on it to ruin our future.

        Roy, from the bottom of my heart. Don’t be a baby, face up to it and prove your point if you have to. Sending emails out when people ask you to delete a post is (forgive me but) a dick move. If you are so confident, don’t hide then. Challenge it head on. Don’t get M Ravi to play around with words so you can look better. His reputation and he himself isn’t going to help you.

    • No one buys a HDB!

      just a minor correction.

      no one ‘buys’ a HDB flat. you can only ‘lease’ it. That’s why it’s called a leasehold.

      That is why, as the landlord, it gets to dictate the rules when people ‘rent’ the flats from HDB (things like ownership criteria (married or >35 year old); sub-letting rules; racial quota; ‘transfering of lease’ aka selling HDB flats; and ‘compensation for canceling/transfering of lease’ aka en-bloc 搬家 from Rochor to Kallang).

      Anway based on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housing_Affordability_Index
      Singapore has a price to income ratio of 23 (ratio of median apartment prices to median familial disposable income, expressed as years of income.) Means 23 years of income to ‘buy’ an apartment.

      for comparison:
      Hong Kong is 26.2
      London is 14.7
      Sydney is 8.7
      Melbourne is 8.3
      New York is 7.85

  6. Yi Ting

    Thanks for writing this! Will share the counterarguements to the CPF’s statement to all by 300 friends on fb! Cheers! Appreciate that!

  7. Yi Ting

    “In the first place, why did our retirement fund become something used for retirement, housing, healthcare, education and so many things else? Our retirement fund is supposed to be just that – our retirement fund.”

    My bro-in-law is Japanese and he is a teacher. He jus bought a freehold house for $620 000 (about $1300 each month) in Tokyo for about 30 years. He is 29. And when he retires, he gets $2000 to $3000 each month from his government pension plan. He pays $30 when he sees his HDB clinic doctor. He also pays only 30% for his surgeries in hospitals as japan has a sort of universal healthcare insurance card for citizens. Singaporeans pay pay everything from our own pockets and we are told to downgrade to retire after paying for our flats of 30 years payment. Fucking PAP!

  8. MoMO

    You miss to mention that most Singaporeans take out from their OA each month to pay for their HDB loans for their flats. HDB charges 2.6%….0.1% more than the interest paid in the OA to finance your flat. If the CPF is meant for one’s old age retirement, how come the government charges 0.1% more from the HDB loan….you are making a negative 0.1% from your OA just to pay for your HDB loan…and that doesn’t include inflation at all.

    • Lenny

      But you don’t have to take a HDB loan. You can take a home loan from the banks if you don’t like the HDB deal.

    • David

      MoMO, I think u missed the main point – why the low return ROI of investing our cpf monies by GICs / Temasek Holdings? When these entities which reported rather high ROI and get to keep the considerable difference. what we all need is more transparency in the ways which our CPF monies is invested.

  9. G Lim

    Roy, please note that in your comparison with Malaysia and HK with higher rates of returns you have to take into account the currency/respective risk free interest rates. For e.g. housing loans in Singapore today is near 1% with banks and 12 month deposit average with local banks are close to 0.5% (or 1.3% with promotions). Malaysia loan rates are close to 4% and hence EPF returns above the risk-free rate should be higher. SGD is a strong currency vis a vis USD or Ringgit so it will not be easy to get the same return over risk free rates comparatively. You also mentioned that CPF rates was as high as 6.5% in the 1980s. This is because the borrowing rates/ interest rates were much higher and CPF return is pegged to interest rates. Likewise, 2.5% as a floor benefits the majority versus bank deposits (<1%) at current very low interest rates environment. a lot of us would remember mortgage rates we had to pay close to 6+% in the late 1990s.

    PS: i admire your passion in raising issues and the time spent in doing up all those nice charts to support your points.

    • Roy Ngerng

      Hello,

      Comparing the interest rates for housing loans only make sense, when seen in comparison with:

      (1) Housing prices
      (2) Wages
      (3) Puchasing power

      Please note:

      (1) Housing prices have grown way and above inflation – Singapore has the most expensive public housing in the world
      (2) Wages have remained stagnant – Singaporeans today earn the lowest wages among the high-income countries
      (3) Puchasing power has declined – Singaporeans today have the lowest purchasing power among the developed countries

      Thus:

      (1) Interest rates for housing loans might be low but this is on high housing prices, which means the nominal interest paid is still very high

      (2) Because wages have hardly grown and purchasing power has dropped, it is now more expensive to buy a flat.

      Finally:

      (1) CPF interest rates have to be compared with inflation. The government had wanted to increase the CPF Minimum Sum to “maintain its real value” – the CPF Minimum Sum had grown by 7%, or average – way above inflation

      (2) If the government will increase the CPF Minimum Sum by 7%, will the government increase the CPF itself by 7%?

      (3) If our CPF grows by the banks’ interest rates or pegged to them, Singaporeans will never be able to meet the CPF Minimum Sum.

      Thus please look at above points for what needs to be done in Singapore.

      Thank you.

      Roy

  10. Tan Hock

    My challenge to ROY…
    For most common folks with funds to invest, 2.5-4% return for relatively low risk would be good and practical. When Roy previously tabled up to 16 % return from TH/GIC as “siphoning” profits from the people, I have challenged him to provide guaranteed 8-12% for my funds. No sound on that challenged so far. He is actually insulting the common folks with his spins.
    Most of Roy’s public rhetoric focus on running down the PAP/govt, primarily with the use or abuse of static stats. The probable key agenda is politiking to bring down the incumbent, and sensible folks should appreciate not to be hoodwinked by this obnoxious character. My challenge to Roy remains valid. If he is interested to talk terms and proceed further, I would be eager to hear his proposal which I hope would be made public, so that others may wish to take up more of this challenge. First, he has to ensure and demonstrate his credentials and ability to handle the task.

    • Tan Hock

      Suggest more common folks should explore the possibility of this potential investment (if it can be sensibly structured) for 8-12 % return. In reality, such return would be rare and practically unattainable for common folks.
      In addition, regardless of the status of latest legal case, my challenge to Roy is valid so long as major rates of key spore banks remain at today’s rates plus max of additonal 1% for 1 yr fixed deposits

      • Tan Hock

        on your latest post, claiming to be speaking for “my fellow citizen”, my response is :
        “Roy,suggest you avoid the claim that you were speaking for “my fellow citizen”…You may speak for yourself or for those who concurred with your views. Speaking for myself as an ordinary citizen, I reject your claim.”

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  12. acit

    Great Debate but to be frank in my opinion, people views on CPF differs from the salary scale they are in.

    If you earn $800 per month, you may not have the opportunity to invest in other funds or stocks to double up your bird nest. Basically, if you earn $800 per month, it may also mean you do not have high qualification and may not know anything about stock etc etc. No offence aight

    But if you are earning $5000 per month, you may have that extra money in your CPF to invest and double or even triple up your bird nest.

    Its good to have CPF. Some of us may like it, some of us may not. For our brothers and sisters who will never hit the minimum target requirement, they have their cause of worries.

    And for our brothers and sisters who can easily hit the minimum target and hit even higher, thier worries will be at a minimal. They can cash out the excess CPF and still enjoy the monthly payout when they retire.

    I am not challenging anyone. You guys no need to reply to my comment. I am here just to give my two cent worth

  13. Jack Chai

    I think the solution here may be to demand that the yearly interests every year be based on the returns from the investments, i.e they should be termed dividends rather than interests. In that way, all Sporeans can enjoy the profits and share in the loss. That’s fair.

  14. Jack Chai

    A joke.

    A Singaporean holidaying overseas was captured by a kidnapper and was held for ransom. When the kidnapper found the person to be from Singapore, he was pleased and started bragging to the victim that, he had heard that Singapore is the country with the third-highest GDP in the world and as a result, he will be able to get a few million ransom for his effort. The victim then started explaining to the kidnapper about the CPF, the cost of living and the lack of a minimum wage.

    On the next day, he was let go.

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  17. koon tan

    劉邦坐上皇位後,对其父曰:晋天之下,莫非王土;行动党上台後対其民說:你所拥有的一切,皆归党囯所有.
    After becoming the emperor of Han dynasty, Liu Bang told his father:”All the lands within my country are mine.” ; After becoming the government of Singapore, The PAP told his people:”All what you have are woned by the government.”

  18. May

    The reason why the welfare systems all over the world is starting to fail and countries are looking at CPF and adopting it is because they have come to realise that it’s a system that is far more sustainable. Like what my friend from France said, welfare system is like a game of passing sand bags, you pass on your sand bag in hopes that there will be more sand bags to come. (People pay taxes, which in turn supports the people who are already retired or are collecting welfare/medical. No one knows if there will still be enough money in the reserves when it’s their turn to retire. This is a very real and growing fear in some welfare states. Which is also why taxes in some places have risen to 50% to cover for whatever shortfall in welfare payout.) Meanwhile, the CPF scheme is like throwing your sandbags up in the air just above your head, you know for sure, it’s just a matter of time your bags of sand will return to you.

    Ofcoz everyone wants to be able to claim welfare, not spend a single cent on anything. But it is already tested and proven in welfare states that it is not a sustainable model. If I am a youth in Denmark, I’ll definitely be fearful of my future, as I’ll be made to pay taxes sky high while I’m working while whether I’ll have any money to retire will be a big question mark.

    The question is not whether CPF is as good as welfare states in terms of what you get back/out of the schemes. Rather, whether it is something that provides short term gains instead of a sustainable model for all our future generations.

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  20. SGDragon

    I don’t see Workers Party openly supporting you in this rhetoric. Have you thought of Why?

    How confident are you that you & your cronies proposals are more feasible and sustainable than what we are currently having?

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