The huge shortfall in retirement funding for Singaporeans is testament to the abject failure of our CPF scheme.
Instead of addressing the issue, PAP has engaged in propaganda to create an illusion that all is well, eg in 2011, PAP quietly amended the original objective of providing for an adequate retirement to include providing for our housing and medical needs.
Mission before 2011
Not only has the PAP dished out more propaganda in the MSM, PAP MPs and ministers have been roped in convince CPF members to continue allowing GIC to manage our NO-QUESTIONS-ASKED $328 billion CPF.
But when our failed pension system required PM Lee to sell CPF snake oil before the 2015 GE, Singaporeans had better start to sit up. The head of any state should not need to market a 6-decade old pension system, unless of course something is not right.
In “GE 2015: Singaporeans value CPF’s good returns, says PM“, PM Lee made a number of WTF-statements, insulting even to idiots.
PM Lee: “The Central Provident Fund (CPF) offers good returns, and the best evidence of this is the $500 million Singaporeans voluntarily put into their accounts last year.”
$500 million may seem a very large amount but this should be put into perspective. Considering total CPF balances of $275 billion at end 2014, $500 million is only …. 0.2%! It’s not even 1% but 1/5 of 1%. How significant is this amount?
Without any breakdown, it can only be assumed that wealthy Singaporeans are the ones who volunteered their funds for GIC to manage. In 2014, there were about 140,000 Singaporean millionaires. Even if slightly more than one third of them, ie 50,000 deposited only $10,000 each to earn a higher interest rate, this would have made up PM Lee’s “$500 million”.
Unlike ordinary citizens, wealthy Singaporeans could easily increase their CPF balances instead of having cash idling in banks or investments earning miserable yields. If wealthy Singaporeans have faith in the CPF Board, the voluntary amounts should have been at least $5 billion annually. (According to MOM, about 200,000 residents earned at least $10,000 a month in 2014.)
If CPF did offer good returns, Singaporeans from all walks of life wouldn’t have mind topping up with cash. Assuming only 2/3 of members top up $1000 each, CPF Board would have at least $2 billion additional funds every year.
In the case of CPF, good returns is subjective because PAP has been constantly shifting CPF goal posts to delay withdrawal. The “$500 million Singaporeans voluntarily put into their accounts last year” reflects little confidence in the CPF Board. 😦
PM Lee: “You go to DBS, cannot get that. You go to UOB, cannot get that.”
PM Lee: “I think it’s not bad, right? So why, when you go to opposition rallies, they never mention this? Because if they mentioned this, nobody will vote for the opposition.”
Although the CPF scheme has been failing Singaporeans for decades, PAP still has the audacity to own self praise own self.
PM Lee: “You don’t take it out… well, you earn good interest. You need it desperately, you take it out. You have that flexibility.”
PM Lee has continued to bury his head in the sand: the issue of retirement funding shortfall means there’s nothing for the majority to take out in the first place.
PM Lee: “So I think the CPF is taking good care of the old people.”
Is this how CPF is taking care of the thousands of elderly Singaporeans doing menial jobs to survive?
Thanks to Roy’s persistence in highlighting this issue, PAP was forced to return 20% of CPF at 65. But by then, about 18% of CPF members will not be able to enjoy PAP’s “flexibility” because it’s statistically impossible: they will be dead. 😦
PM Lee is totally divorced from CPF members’ reality and has continued to engage in propaganda and half-truths. Together with all the silly statements, he appears to be selling CPF koyok.
When the leader of a country has to resort to selling CPF snake oil, GIC is likely to be in financial dire straits. 😦
If the PAP government wants to regain CPF members’ trust, it has to be transparent and open up GIC’s book.
** “all online CPF annual reports” refers to 2011 and before. Subsequent years’ are available online.