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IPS forum on CPF: Something light and something dark (purple).

Friday, July 25, 2014

I have been doing quite a bit of heavy duty blogging on the "IPS forum on CPF and retirement adequacy" and I am glad I decided to focus on the 8 expert speakers at the two panel discussions because there is not enough coverage provided by the media.

If you would like to read what was reported in the media, here are links to ChannelNewsAsia's reports:

When the CPF system was introduced in 1955, the retirement age was 55. Life expectancy then, was between 60 and 62. Today, for those turning 65, one in two will live beyond 85, and one in three will live beyond 90. 

"What happens if you are that one in three? What happens if you are that one in two?,” said Mr Tan. “So when we talk about shifting goal posts, I would say it is actually not about shifting goal posts. I think the game has changed, it is the same game but the rules have changed. The playing pitch has enlarged in very significant ways, the game is played slightly differently."

The Minimum Sum provides for a basic level of retirement payout. As people live longer, the Minimum Sum goes up too, to ensure adequate payouts. Currently, the Minimum Sum stands at S$155,000, after adjusting for inflation, for those who turn 55 in July. How the sum will be calculated beyond that is being reviewed.

Source: ChannelNewsAsia

Speaking at a forum on CPF and Retirement Adequacy organised by the Institute of Policy Studies on Tuesday (July 22), Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said options like private pension plans have to be studied carefully and it is important that people understand the risks involved.

Mr Tharman said the CPF system has served Singaporeans well, and it will keep evolving to meet their changing needs. However, even as improvements are being made, it is important to keep the basic strengths of the CPF system, he added. These strengths include giving a fair return to ordinary CPF members, without exposing them to financial risks they cannot carry.

For those who can stomach higher risks, he said he agreed that the Government should study how to provide options so that they can try to earn higher returns than what is currently provided under the CPF investment scheme.

Source: ChannelNewsAsia

Anyway, enough of heavy duty blogging for now. Here is something light to give my brain a break.

Photos of lunch at the forum:

Garden salad.

Chicken, carrots, cucumber and potato.

Fruits and some French sounding dessert.

Everyone had the same 3 course lunch and I hope Roy enjoyed the lunch treat as well.


Which Roy?

This Roy:

Roy Ngerng at the forum.

I saw him during the coffee breaks but the face did not register until he stood up, identified himself before putting questions to DPM in the afternoon.

Till now, I still think his current situation could have been avoided. Seriously. 

Many have questioned the CPF system before. Many have criticised the CPF system before. However, not many, if any, were foolish enough to defame the Prime Minister in the process.

Still, I wish him the best of luck and I hope he does not do anything foolish again.

Related posts:
1. "Return our CPF" protest in Hong Lim Park.
2. "Return our CPF" protest? Why not a contest?
3. We can manage our money better than CPF can.


The Sun said...

Wow, what a sumptuous meal! Aside from the food, thanks for posting the stuff that was shared during the forum for the readers of your blog.

AK71 said...

Hi Sun,

You should read some of the unflattering remarks about my decision to attend the forum on my FB wall. Hahaha.. ;p

Song StoneCold:
"i consider that a really bad investment for u to attend this forum. U took leave, pay for yr own transport and only get to eat a miserable three course lunch. Negative returns!"

I said this to another reader on FB:
"And to be honest, what I wrote are not summaries. IPS will do that. I just picked the points which made an impression on me and also offered my own perspectives."

But you are welcome. :)

pf said...

I'm glad that such forum was organized. Glad to know that now there are better attempts to engage the people. I think communications with the public is sorely inadequate. Therefore, misunderstandings arises.

I'm also very proud of the netizens who speak up and give their views. Although some are smarter than others on how they do it, we r collectively enlarging our knowledge pie, raising issues and debating about it.

Also a little disappointed that some of the best brains in our country failed to see the incoherence on certain policies until they are brought up. And the first reaction is more often than not to deny the issues brought up before doing a study. Subsequent study and change in policies attest to that.

Times have changed. There is nothing wrong to keep reviewing policies and systems and tweak things as the days go by. But to build relationships, communication is key.

I'm glad that we are moving forward in this regard. :)

Rolf Suey said...

Hi AK,
Never really realize that life expectancy back then is so low compare to now. But anyway I prefer a longer life, which is why I am now so "Kia Si" and start saving/investing. For Roy, I agree that he should not do anything silly again. Heard his father got implicated too. Rumoured his father has to stop the hawker stall business at the location which he operates for years, because of too many questions asking about his son. Poor thing!

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

I agree that we need to grow the number of communication channels and strengthen existing ones. We must also try to be more creative in doing so. Inviting bloggers or social influencers as some call us is a good idea. I don't know if this is something new or not for the government.

DPM did say that that the only way for the CPF to stay relevant is to keep evolving to meet new realities. However, the rationale for the evolution must be more clearly communicated to the public with a greater degree of empathy for those who might feel short changed.

While evolving, we must always be open to feedback and consider all suggestions since we don't know everything there is to know.

AK71 said...

Hi Rolf,

Unless we are single and have no family, whatever we do will have an impact on our family. Unfortunately, sometimes, some people forget this.

Although I do not think that Roy is the sharpest knife in the drawer, I like to think that his heart is in the right place. He should really think about what he should do next in order not to increase the damage he has already done to himself and his family.

I am all for questioning the system as long as the questions are pertinent and objective. Roy might want to remember this before he says anything again in future.

pf said...

Yeah, so don't deny, defend and/or dismiss before giving due consideration. That's all i hope for in the management of public policies. :)

AK63 said...

To AK71....

Remember once I questioned why you agreed to attend that seminar as guest speaker when you always insist on anonymity then you attended in disguise? I might be overly-sensitive but from experience, the moment I read about you attending, all my inner alarms gone off. I have even stronger feelings about this IFS thinggie. What better ways to find out who these anonymous bloggers are than to invite them to attend a most interesting and enlightening forum? There are ways to find out who you are when you are physically present. I just hope I'm wrong but so far.... :(

AK63 said...

On the Roy saga....

I always frown when I read comments about him being silly or stupid. I respect and admire him for what he did which many of us might have harbored thoughts of doing but never have the guts to do it.

Sometimes to get the government to take you seriously and really sit up and take notice is just to take so-called silly, stupid, rash and damaging actions. Saw the huge chain of events after? His actions send tsunamis through not only our local community but also foreign medias. He's the scapegoat and also a martyr. Saw what our government was doing lately? Suddenly there are talks, forums, discussions, seminars, FB-postings, where ministers are more open with sharing their rationales and strategies behind their implementation of policies and decisions. Before Roy, got mey?

On a selfish note, we should extend our gratitude to him for helping us secure more benefits and better communication and transparency.

AK63 said...

Ah, forgot to ask....

You were there so maybe you could let us know how the exchange between Roy and DPM went, was it amicable or hostile or....?

The only reason I can think of for them to invite Roy is to see if he will put himself in more harm through his silliness, stupidity and foolishness, so they can build another dafamation suit to sink him for good? :)

AK71 said...

Hi AK63,

I am afraid I don't quite get your message:

" I just hope I'm wrong but so far...."

Er, what do you mean? Sorry if I sound a bit thick. Could be because I just woke from a nap. -.-"

As for why Roy was there, I think there was a more innocent reason. LOL. After all, at least 3 local personal finance bloggers were invited, including myself. Why shouldn't Roy be invited since he figured so prominently in the "Return our CPF" protests? ;)

As for thinking about Roy as a martyr, I am sure many do. Personally, I still think him a fool for having defamed the PM and for inviting trouble.

I have been blogging about the CPF and how we can use it to help secure our retirement, pay less income tax, help our parents' retirement funding, get free medical insurance etc. before his "Return our CPF" protests. When in doubt, I would search the CPF's website for information.

There is no need to make speculations about who did what, which was what landed him in hot soup.

Anyway, I do wish him well and I, personally, feel that the whole matter probably made him more bitter but wiser. Not a total loss. :)

Oh, Roy and the DPM? Just Q&A. One asked. One answered. No hostility at all. ;)

AK71 said...

"DPM Tharman said that the CPF is not meant to benefit the rich which is why there are contribution cap and MS Top Up cap in place, for examples."

Gabriel Tham:
" does benefit the rich leh.....interest is based on the capital...more capital more interest....
poor people wont have enough capital to max out or top up extra."

Kelvin Tan Tuan Wei:
"Gabriel, you ever wonder why ERS is 3X BRS but the monthly payout is less than 3X?"

The Full Retirement Sum (FRS) and Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS) are two and three times of the Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) respectively. Why aren’t the FRS/ERS payouts twice or thrice as well?

The CPF LIFE payouts do not increase proportionally with the amount used to join CPF LIFE because of the progressive nature of the CPF interest rate structure. The first $30,000 of your combined balances will earn 6% interest, the next $30,000 will earn 5% interest while the rest of your balances will earn 4% interest.
The progressive interest rate structure allows members with lower balances to benefit more as they enjoy a higher effective interest rate as compared to members with higher balances. This means that the CPF savings for lower balances members would have grown proportionately faster than those with higher balances. Therefore, they are able to receive a proportionately higher payout.

CPF Life."

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