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AK attended a forum on CPF and Retirement Adequacy with Mr. Tan Chuan Jin and Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This really came as quite a surprise:

It took me a while to decide on whether I  should attend the event or not because of privacy considerations. Then, when I was talking to my younger sister about it, she told me quite bluntly that the media won't be interested in a certain obscure blog run by a certain obscure AK. They would be zooming in on the ministers! OK, that made up my mind for me.

So, I took a day leave from work and went for the event to see and hear for myself discussions regarding the CPF by probably some of our country's more brilliant thinkers. Issues regarding the CPF and retirement adequacy interest this frog in a well and it is really a privilege for me to be at the forum.

It has been a long day and I am feeling mentally and physically exhausted. Mentally exhausted because I had to process so much information in such a short time. I have not felt so taxed since my undergraduate days! Physically exhausted from sitting down for a whole day? Yup, I also walked from the Shangri-La Hotel to Orchard MRT station. I am so out of shape, I know.

I will try to share more in detail on what was discussed today at the forum in the coming days. I will also share some of my thoughts then.

For this blog post, I am just going to share some photos as well as an outline of the topics discussed.

Here are some photos:

Kiasu AK was quite early so that he could choose a good seat.
Panel discussion in the morning:
Meeting current and future needs and aspirations of Singaporeans.
Minister for Manpower, Mr. Tan Chuan-Jin.

Panel discussion in the afternoon:
Achieving the desired outcomes in a sustainable way.
DPM and Minister for Finance,
Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Here is an outline of the issues discussed:

1. Future retirement landscape: Key influencing health and social trends.

2. Future needs and wants of seniors.

3. Housing and the CPF system.

4. Behavioural perspectives of the CPF system.

5. International retirement income systems.

6. Balancing returns, risks, facts and fallacies.

7. Analysing the CPF-IS and its alternatives.

8. Improving the CPF system.

From these 8 titles alone, I think you can guess that my brain had a fulfilling day. Now, some time is needed for digestion.

Related posts:
1. An(other) open letter to the Prime Minister.
2. E-books: Thoughts on financial security for Singaporeans.


KC said...

You are being scrutinised.

AK71 said...

Hi E H,

You must be kidding me! LOL!

Er... You are, right? -.-"

I don't want my blog to be gazetted... -.-"

pf said...

Was the forum a good meeting of the minds? Or a one way street? ;)

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


Aren't siblings great?

They are great at deflating our inflated sense of self whenever we get too ahead of ourselves ;)

Can't see the face. Got chat up the girl in black or not? She jude or not?

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

Well, I would say that there were many views from different people which were presented. I learned many new things and also had some of my ideas and thoughts confirmed.

The government has a difficult job and they have done quite well so far and they have good reasons for doing what they do. The issue for me is that they have to do a better job of communicating to the public what they are doing and why they are doing it.

The CPF is not a perfect system and it is not a universal system. The government is aware of this and I expect more changes will be on the way. Well, I will be surprised if there aren't more changes since it is a matter of such political importance as well. ;)

AK71 said...


Hahaha... I don't know if I have an inflated opinion of myself. I like to think not. ;p

Unknown said...

Hi AK,
I think it was a wrong decision to chose Shangri-la, one of the very best ( and expensive ) hotel as the venue to discuss such issues where we have a large portion of the population that could not meet the minimum sum in CPF. The govt could be more discerning . One more gripe that they are so out touch with the realities on the ground.

AK71 said...

Hi Les,

My complaint is the long walk to and from Orchard MRT station. -.-"

I don't know if IPS got a special rate from the hotel because I see that they organise forums at Shangri-La regularly on various issues.

No breakfast was provided. Thank goodness I brought my own.

Coffee breaks consists coffee, tea, orange juice, spring rolls and samosas.

Lunch was just a salad, two small pieces of chicken with potato and a dessert. By any standards, it wasn't extravagant.

However, without attending the forum, I agree, others could get the wrong impression. -.-"

Komatineni said...

Excellent AK71, would be waiting eagerly to listen more. the agenda looks wonderful and am sure you're good at digesting it fast ;)

AK71 said...

Hi Komatineni,

I will do my best to digest faster although I have to caution that I am likely to zoom in on what I feel are more important points which have been made at the forum by the speakers. Of course, I will share my views as well. I am not a newspaper reporter, after all. ;p

AlexLer said...

Hi AK,

I have been following your blog for quite some time and this is the first time I posted a comment.

My personal view on the CPF is that I am not bothered at all with whatever increment in the CPF Minimum Sum. The reason is that I am OK not to withdraw anything from my CPF when I turn 55 and wait until 65 (current Draw Down Age) to start receive the monthly payout from CPF Life. I understand the payout will be smaller if I do not meet the Minimum Sum.

However, what worries me is the CPF Draw Down Age (DDA). It has been raised from 60 to 65 in the past ten years. Based on this rate, a 35 yo this year can only receive monthly payout from CPF Life when he reaches 75. It is 80 for a 25 yo this year.

Is CPF still considered as retirement planning if one can only withdraw it at 75 or 80?

Don't you guys worry about this?

AK71 said...

Hi Wei Ler,

There was no indication that the draw down age would change but in passing, DPM did mention how CPF could pay out smaller sums in the beginning and gradually increase the payout size with age. This is to take into consideration inflation. However, there could be resistance to an idea like this although it makes financial sense. To have more in future, having less now helps. That is only logical.

From age 55 to 65, there is a 10 years accumulation period while the money compounds at a risk free 4% per annum. This means that whatever we have in the RA would grow by about 50%. That is pretty substantial and I believe make the whole system more sustainable.

KC said...

Your type/platform would be categorised as a 'cheerleader' who can be cultivated/engaged.

AK71 said...

Hi E H,

Oh dear. I would have to polish my "RA RA RA" (and they don't stand for "Retirement Account", by the way) and fluff up my poms poms! -.-"

Well, I like to be as objective as possible and if something isn't sensible, I will say it as it is. :)

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