Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Retire? Wait long long ah!

It was recently announced that the CPF accounts (OA, SA, Medisave) will have an increased rate of return, albeit only for the first $60k combined.
Besides that, the govie also made a whole slew of changes (ya, what's new??) to the CPF system, to make sure people don't run out of funds to sustain themselves in their old age.

Some of the changes include raising the drawing down age for CPF, from the current 62, to 65, and subsequently to 67. Also, they are going to implement a compulsory annuity, so that everyone (currently below 50) will have to contribute a certain portion of their CPF minimum sum , to a shared 'pool' of funds, which would then serve as a common nest egg for those who live beyond certain age.

What do I think of these measures? To be frank, any increase (however small) in the CPF returns is welcome news. How much it will actually help, i am slightly skeptical though.

But the biggest shit, to me, is the fact that we are less and less in control of our OWN MONEY! With such strict restrictions (and more coming, i'd bet!) on the CPF, it is no wonder many Singaporeans dont really see it as "their" money. It's like a secondary "tax" that the govie levy on Singaporean, with the promise that they will EVENTUALLY get it back, when they are old and possibly dying. And that, is also the reason why many people i know, would rather throw all their CPF money into their flats, since it's money they cant touch anyway.

Just read a good article in the TODAY papers... it mentioned the fact that the govie has used the CPF as a "easy way out", resorting to cutting contribution rates (notably from the Employer's side) whenever the economy isnt doing too well. No wonder many people don't have enough CPF to retire lah!

Talking about taking the "easy way out", that seems to be the way many of the ministries are doing now. Just look at the road congestion issue...
When the road gets congested, LTA says, "No Problemo. Let's put up another of our wonderful gantry-of-fortune at XXXXX road/expressway. that should keep the motorists away!". And when enough traffic gets diverted to another road, they'd again say, "Well, it looks like this XXXX road is becoming congested as well. Time for another of our gantry-of-fortune to appear! Ta-dah!"
Soon, the whole Singapore will become ONE BIG restricted zone. hahaha

Give us a break!


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