20140708 Parliamentary questions on CPF – are MPs feigning stupidity or what?

Parliamentary questions on the CPF today will attempt to evade the question on transparency issue regarding Singaporeans’ $260 billion retirement savings. That the majority of CPF members need our money does not seem to concern our MPs. Every MP seems clueless despite so much online discussions and the “Return our CPF” protest at Hong Lim Park.

Do MPs not understand the meaning of “return”?

Roy Ngerng’s persistence on the CPF issue has finally woken our slumbering parliament. The 87 MPs have not served the interests of their constituents as far as the CPF issue is concerned. They are still evading the real issue.

Simply put, we are demanding our rights for CPF monies to be returned to their rightful owners and for GIC to reveal where they have been invested.

In an earlier post, I suggested that GIC should follow the Norwegian model. MPs could take a look at it here and stop wasting everybody’s time.

If Roy gets elected into Parliament, he will be able to ask really inconvenient questions. Likewise for Kenneth Jeyaretnam.

Some of the CPF questions:
– how many CPF members do not withdraw their CPF monies after setting aside the CPF Minimum Sum? (Gan Thiam Poh)
– can CPF exercise more flexibility…? (Seng Han Thong)
– can lower income CPF members continue to use their CPF to service existing housing mortgage…? (Irene Ng)
– are there plans to increase the drawdown age? (Ang Wei Neng)
– can MOM provide current CPF data? (Tin Pei Ling)
– how is the government helping Singaporeans to improve their retirement adequacy? (Christopher de Souza)
– how many are active/inactive CPF members when they turn 55 this year? (Lina Chiam)
– what is the percentage average amount of CPF used for housing at 55 and above? (Png Eng Huat)

CPF members are telling the PAP government not to decide for us on our retirement plans and we want our money back. Do the above questions address this? You go figure.

CPF members have lost complete trust in the government. If GIC were able to generate superior returns, the government should be confident that members would form overnight queues outside GIC’s office with wheelbarrows of our savings. But no. The government legislated all CPF monies to be channeled into GIC.

Investments must not only be viewed in dollars and cents. There is simply no dollar value equivalent when it comes to investing in our children’s education!

MP Lim Biow Chuan will ask “what are the rates of interest paid by the CPF Board..for the past 10 years?”. In fact, CPF Board has already provided a list of historical rates stretching back to 1955 here.

MP Lee Bee Wah seems to be tailoring some questions to expected parliamentary replies:

a) How CPF monies are invested?
Lee Bee Wah would do well to read up on CPF issues before firing off redundant questions. Read Question 19 on MOF’s website “How are CPF monies invested?” here

b) What are the rates of returns from CPF Board’s investments?
This can be found on CPF Board’s website and is similar to Lim Biow Chuan’s question.

c) How does the CPF Board determine the interest to be paid to CPF account holders..?
The arbitrary formula for computing CPF interest rates has already been on CPF’s website for years. link

MPs must act responsibly by asking probing questions on transparency. Without transparency, they could ask a thousand questions in parliament but nobody will know the health of GIC.

The PAP government cannot expect trust from citizens when it continues to hide what should have been publicly available information decades ago. The Nowegian pension fund is 4 times larger than CPF’s S$260 billion. Their complete list of equities here. If they could be transparent, why not GIC?

If there is no solvency issue, why does the government legislate insane amounts of OUR CPF savings into GIC while retired CPF members are struggling with high cost of living issues?

If there is an issue, wouldn’t it be better to be upfront, resolve it now rather than postpone and compound it?

MPs are really not serving their constituents on the CPF issue by not highlighting our needs ie. our right to our retirement savings and transparency at GIC/CPF. We do not need redundant questions and more tweaks. The CPF system is inherently unstable and urgently needs a revamp.

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One Response to 20140708 Parliamentary questions on CPF – are MPs feigning stupidity or what?

  1. James says:

    Bravo! 👏👏👏👏

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