Friday, January 09, 2009

Singaporeans work as long as you can!

MM Lee advises Singaporeans to work as long as you can : [Link]. Yes, work for as long as you can breathe. Why?....Many Singaporeans won't be able to retire at all. After all the tweaking of the CPF scheme for its use in HDB, Singaporeans are now at the bottom of a ranking of retirement income from pensions.


Jan 9, 2009
Pension & retirement income
S'poreans ranked lowest

SINGAPOREANS are at the bottom of a ranking of retirement income from pensions in the Asia-Pacific region, says the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
And this is true at all income levels, according to the study, which covered 19 locations including Hong Kong, Taipei and Japan, The Business Times reported on Friday.
The Pensions at a Glance study, which also involved the World Bank, found that Singapore's average gross replacement rate - the value of the pension as a percentage of earnings when working - is just 13.1 per cent.
Taipei has the highest gross replacement rate of 70 per cent, the report said.
'This means that the gross pension income for average earners in Taipei is over two-thirds of their previous earnings level, whereas pensioners in Singapore receive less than one-seventh the amount of their earnings,' says the study.
Singapore's pension is provided by the Central Provident Fund (CPF).
'The relatively low replacement rate for Singapore is because the calculations only consider the earmarked retirement account,' says the study. 'If an individual were to put the general account towards retirement-income provision as well, then the replacement rate would be 82 per cent.'
It points out that it would be foolish to say that one Singaporean who withdrew from the CPF to buy a house is worse off than another who built up a retirement income and then had to use some of it to pay for housing.
'Nonetheless, there is a risk that older people find themselves asset-rich and income-poor in retirement and facing difficulty in unlocking the value of their housing assets to pay for essentials,' the study says.
Replacement rates - the most familiar indicator for pension analysts - are not the only factor governments are concerned with. They also need to measure the value of the overall pension promise.
'This is measured by the indicator of pension wealth which takes life expectancy into account,' the study says.
Again, Singapore has the lowest measurement - a retiree's pension here is worth just an average 2.2 times their earnings at retirement. The figure for China is 21.2 times - the highest in the region.


Golodie said...

we are all so screwed..... dun think that there's many cardboards to go around....

Anonymous said...

We're paying for the most expensive public housing in the world, what is left will surely not enough for retirement.....the survey makes sense.

Anonymous said...

i want to emigrate to CHINA!!!

Anonymous said...

HDB is monopoly business. Set price at a level to enrich gahmen coffers. After all, do you have any cheaper choice?

Now with recession, this will become Singapore subprime.

Solution? Downgrade. Now the gahmen will start building 2 or 3 room flats after they realise the folks cannot be milked any further. Because there is no milk left to be milked.

Haha! More good years and golden period!

xNSman said...

Poor asset rich Singaporeans. Even if you sell your flat so that you can retire in a lower cost country, will the PAP allow you to take the money out. So, poor Singaporeans are stuck in this hole. So, the only choice is to work until you die. Alternatively, change your mindset. Two or three families combine resources and share a flat. Siblings, children and parents etc. Now you are debt free and can plan to move out of expensive Singapore. Country for the rich and famous. Woohoo!

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the day will come when we get to see MM Lee flipping burgers at Macdonalds, how come he gets to be Minister Mentor when he is nearing senile, and other old people are "advised" to look for lower wages so that they will remain employable?

Anonymous said...

For the first time, I am saying that the Citizens of Singapore have brought this situation upon themselves.

Until today, I am still hearing the Pre 65ers singing praises of the Leadership!

For goodness sake! Please come to your senses!


Anonymous said...


how do u plan to emigrate to china..let me know i am interested to find out. thks

Anonymous said...

since the govt is so huge on rankings, LET THEM GET A LOAD OF THIS AND STOP TELLING US HOW WONDERFUL CPF IS!!!

Anonymous said...

" Now the gahmen will start building 2 or 3 room flats after they realise the folks cannot be milked any further. Because there is no milk left to be milked."

What nonsense ? Gov make money on every policy and decision, because it can never make mistake. Does that mean that a 2/3 room flat cannot sell for $300,000 ?

Isn't Singapore unique ?

Anonymous said...

Since Singaporeans are now expected to work to their death, CPF is now irrelevant.

PAP should close down CPF and refund all the money to the 'investors' ie. CPF members!

After refunding the money, GIC and Temasek will be spared the burden of having to pay us CPF contributing peons that oh so farking generous 2.5% p.a. return!

Anonymous said...

The PAP is "tweaking" with the system. Think about it.

DEBT is their leverage against you from leaving this small rock. They need you and your descendants to be NS cheap slaves to protect their LEE EMPIRE!!

Anonymous said...

Now there are so many online savings account in the US (like ING direct) that is offering 2.5-2.75 p.a. And that is after the Fed cuts the rate.

And you tell me this fucking CPF is only giving you 2.5% p.a.??? And you get it only when you are 82?

HAHAHAHAHA. Fuck the CPF and PAP lah.

Anonymous said...

Merrill Lynch, Temasek’s US$2b losses Analysis of its takeover by Bank of America shows unrealised Temasek losses, only part of a much bigger banking investment mistake.
Jan 8, 2009

By Saskia Scholtes and Greg Farrell
Financial Times

Hey, where's the ST Forum ghost writer that was boasting of deep-pockets Singapore when they made the investment? Deep-shit is more like it!

Anonymous said...

there seems to be some kind of a "plan" line up to ensure the majority survive here but can we take more financial sabotage in the years ahead?

the economic troughs will stay much longer than the peaks and i think, more will drown in the process.

Anonymous said...

haha! as for me, i shall return back to India (where my great grandparents "flee")

Anonymous said...

Oh NO! What to do? It happen.


Economist with a Heart :)

Alfred said...

I want you guys to remeber this the next time you vote. they dont care for us, so we dont need to give them another chance at incredulous salaries. As for Wee Shu Min, karma will catch up to her.

""Not the time to flaunt your riches
Insight Down South

A high-ranking civil servant’s account about spending RM110,124 for him, his wife and son to learn fine French cooking has blown up in his face.

A GOVERNMENT elite has stirred ripples by talking of his expensive cooking lessons in France, revealing how hard times are deepening class differences in Singapore.

Inadvertently creating controversy was the permanent secretary at the Environment and Water Resources Ministry, one of the highest ranking civil servants.

Tan Yong Soon had related how he had spent S$46,000 (RM110,124) for himself, his wife and son for a five-day trip to learn fine French cooking.

In ordinary times, this leisurely – but rather insensitive – account would not have amounted to anything much but these days are, of course, far from normal.

Two factors invited criticism to flare.

First, he was seen as flaunting wealth, obtained from his high pay, at a time when Singapore is suffering one of its worst slumps in history.

Many thousands of workers are still losing jobs or suffering wage cuts.

And, secondly, government leaders are accused of being hugely overpaid, as a result of which some are no longer able to relate to the common people.

Tan was also accused of “boasting” about his elitist background when he wrote that his wife was “a senior investment counsellor at a bank” and his son, a soon-to-be student at America’s prestigious Brown University.

“Taking five weeks’ leave from work is not as difficult as one thinks,” Tan said.

“Most times, when you are at the top, you think you are indispensable. But if you are a good leader who has built up a good team, it is possible to go away for five weeks or even longer.”

Singaporeans were largely unimpressed. Some were angry. His fling at France’s prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in the face of rising poverty is the latest example of how out of tune some of Singapore’s well-paid elites are with heartland realities.

About 20% of affluent Singapore’s population lives in poverty with welfare payout to the poorest of the lot limited to a mere S$290 (RM694) a month.

When a government backbencher wanted to have it increased, a Cabinet minister refused, demanding: “How much do you want?”

Many Singaporeans were already unhappy with the multi-million dollar salaries paid to Cabinet ministers and top civil servants even in happier times.

(Despite a recent cut of up to 19%, the government here remains, by far, the highest paid in the world.)

The pay issue remains very controversial and contributes to the class division in society, a them-verses-us mentality that has apparently sharpened as a result of the economic crisis.

The whole episode has shown how the class – and social – divide is widening in high-tech Singapore.

The controversy over Tan’s trip has political implications for a government that is pondering over whether or not to call for a snap general election, which is not due until 2010-11.

In other developed countries from Britain to Japan, it would not have any impact since it involves a civil servant, not a political leader.

But the system is very different in Singapore, where the line separating the two hardly exists.

The Chinese characters “zeng fu” are used to describe the political leadership as well as the civil service.

Some questioned why Tan’s choice of spending his own wealth should be the public’s business – but not many are buying into it.

Established blogger Redbean articulated: “Tan is no ordinary, rich Singaporean. He is a senior civil servant ... and part of the governing elite.

“(He) should be seen as one who would be able to empathise with ordinary Singaporeans who are going through tough times ... (when) the Prime Minister is preparing the people for some belt-tightening and ‘bitter medicine’.”

Besides, if Tan had wished he should have spent his money at home to help the troubled economy rather than abroad, some believed.

Tan’s is by no means the only example of elitist snobbery, nor the worse.

A bigger controversy flared up four years ago when Wee Shu Min, the teenage daughter of a Member of Parliament, came across the blog of a Singaporean who wrote that he was worried about losing his job.

She called Derek Wee “one of many wretched, under-motivated, over-assuming leeches in our country.

“If you’re not good enough, life will kick you in the b***s ... Our society is, I quote, ‘far too survival of fittest’,” said Shu Min, who hailed from the elite Raffles Junior College.

“... Unless you are an arm-twisting commie bully, which, given your whiny, middle-class, under-educated penchant, I doubt,” she added before signing off with “please, get out of my elite uncaring face”.

The girl was flamed by hundreds of Singaporeans, but when her father Wee Siew Kim – an MP in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s constituency – told a newspaper that “her basic point is reasonable”, the row moved well beyond blogosphere.

A news agency, in reporting this, said: “The episode highlighted a deep rift in Singapore society and was an embarrassment for the ruling People’s Action Party and PM Lee.”

Raffles JC, which has produced several state leaders, had another brush with student snobbishness.

When a student found that a Raffles girl was dating a boy from a lower-achieving neighbourhood school, he hit out at him and had a message for lower-ranking students everywhere.

“Quit trying to climb the social ladder by dating students from top schools.”

There are signs the class distinction is getting into some young minds.

A reporter recounted how her friend was shaken when her young daughter came home one day and mentioned in passing that poor people were “stupid, obviously”.""

Anonymous said...

to anon 2.05

tan gu gu. it's more likely than the gahmen allows this article to be published so that they can claim, "see an independent foreign organisation says we don't have enough cpf for retirement. so from now, the cpf employee's contribution rate is 40%!!!!"

yeah, i think pap has both the "heart" and "brains" to pass that decree...