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And the scheming continues.
The raising of the CPF withdrawal age to 65 is nothing more than another ploy to delay returning the people’s hard-earned savings.
The reason advanced for the change, that Singaporeans are living longer than before, is as lame as it is ludicrous.
When workers retire and need a source of income, telling them that they cannot use their savings because they are living longer makes as much sense as telling a man dying of thirst that he can’t drink his water because he’ll need it later.
Whether they are in their 60s, 70s or 80s senior citizens need their retirement savings. How they budget their funds to last them through their remaining years is none of the PAP’s business.
Worse, with the way the political system is what’s to stop the PAP from raising the withdrawal age to 70 and beyond?
Think about it: The elderly are told that they have to continue to work – and for less pay, the GST is raised to 7 percent, hospitals and polyclinics raise their charges and now the withdrawal of the CPF savings is further pushed back.
With a government like this, who needs robbers?
This continual change of the withdrawal age coupled with the Minimum Sum Scheme, which allows the Government to return the savings to retirees in small monthly instalments, effectively means that Singaporeans will never fully get back their savings.
This has a pernicious side-effect. Seeing that the Government has no intention of returning their CPF savings, Singaporeans will resort to using whatever funds they have in their Ordinary CPF Accounts to pay for their HDB mortgages.
In other words, the sizes of their flats they buy will depend on the size of the monthly CPF contributions, not on whether they can afford it.
As it is Singaporeans are already putting in a worryingly high percentage of their income into housing, not by choice it should be added, compared to people in other countries. This leaves them little or no savings for retirement.
Of course the Government loves such an arrangement, it further engorges the its already corpulent pockets.
A recent survey conducted by the AXA Insurance Group revealed that while Singaporeans are the world’s biggest savers, they have the least amount of funds for retirement. Now we know where all the money is going to.
With a system as opaque and unaccountable as the one that presently exists, continuing to allow the PAP to retain our CPF savings is a dangerous arrangement. It is, however, one made in authoritarian heaven.
The people need to fight back.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party