Now I know what keeps the PAP govt awake at night. ...not the billions the lost in Thailand, not the millions the lost in joint ventures with UNSW or John Hopkins...not the rising cost of defense ($10.6B) as govts around the region reduce defense spending. What keeps our govt awake at night is the increasing number of old folks....more specifically the number of old people living beyond 85years old. Even with the extremely successful campaign to promote and enhance our work ethics, our govt has realised that working beyond 85 years old is probably not an option for most Singaporeans. Although McDonalds does not seem to have an official age limit for hiring, I've not seen any 70 year olds working there. There are a number of self employed 70 year old folks collecting aluminium cans from dustbins, unless we increase our intake of Coke, there are only so many cans to go around.
Now our beloved govt has figured out a solution to all this - remember unlike other govt who simply give out aid our govt has to work out a solution within important constraints - welfare is a dirty word so cannot give out welfare...also they have to rule out any solution that will cost the govt more money. While every Singaporean is technically rich as Singapore's reserves of $120B belongs to all of us, we cannot tap that because it will undermine job opportunities for our super elites who are hired to use the money for all sorts of investments around the world. I guess we won't see a single cent of the reserves even if we live beyond age 85. .....but everytime they tell us that Ho Ching has made yet another successful investment, we should celebrate in our hearts.
The solution to this almost intractable problem is an annuity scheme paid for by Singaporeans themselves. Only 20% of Singaporean will live beyond 85 years old, so 80% of Singaporeans will be contributing to this scheme and getting nothing in return. Some of my friends see themselves as losers because nobody in their family ever made it to 80 yrs old, I tell them to look at it as charity. Where does this money come from? CPF of course....since the CPF is already liberalised for housing, medical expenses, education, investments, insurance, etc it is no big deal to add annuities to the list.
Work longer and harder..and you will help to solve the problem of ageing Singaporeans without burdening the PAP govt. They need to set aside large sum to make those wonderful announcements that coincidentally appear just before general elections "$2B to upgrade facilities at XYZ estate..." some of you may wonder how the govt can always find money to upgrade estates before elections but don't seem to have enough to help 85 yr olds. I think money is not the issue, the PAP govt just wants to give Singaporeans a chance to help each other.