Thursday, September 20, 2012

Why Minister Tharman's claim needs to be examined closely...

Yesterday, Minister Tharman made this claim based on a study by Ministry of Manpower:

"Young Singaporeans entering the workforce today will have accumulated enough savings in their Central Provident Fund (CPF) when they retire to see them through their golden years.
This was one of the key findings from a Ministry of Manpower-commissioned study, revealed Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday.
Based on the current CPF system, the study showed that the savings will "provide a comfortable level of income in retirement, a level equal to a large part of their pre-retirement income", he said.
Mr Tharman, who is also Finance Minister, was speaking at the opening of the two-day Singapore Human Capital Summit 2012, held at Resorts World Sentosa."[Link]
If young Singaporeans can retire properly on their own CPF in the future, it contradicts a major assertion made by the PAP govt on the need to import more foreigners. The key reason given for importing foreigners is there will be fewer younger people working to support the elderly in the future[Link]

If Tharman's claim is true that our future elderly are financially self sufficient, it throws the key argument that we need to import foreigners to shore up our dependency ratio out of the window. Anyway, I doubt the PAP is going to implement a "tax foreigners to support our elderly" tax structure - they will rather use the money for other purposes. ...but that is not the way they sell their policies.

I think Singaporeans really need to think hard and connect the dots...they have to see through the propaganda that is crafted to make us support various govt schemes and policies. While Minister Tharman tells us we will be able to retire under the CPF scheme, the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) says we need foreigners to come in order to support our elderly. Both can't be true at the same time....but both need to be true for the PAP to avoid changing its policies on CPF and import of foreign talent.


Anonymous said...

"While Minister Tharman tells us we will be able to retire under the CPF scheme, the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) says we need foreigners to come in order to support our elderly. Both can't be true at the same time...."
Lucky Tan

But if a PAP minister said that, like it or not, it may be true.

You know why? Because by virtue of their position (thanks to the 60% who also knows) they definitely know something which Lucky Tan doesn't know.

In fact they know many things which Lucky Tan doesn't know.

And if you don't know enough, you may sometimes even draw the wrong conclusions!

But doesn't matter if you are only a blogger, even a popular one. Or just a commenter, like me.

Anonymous said...

True or not, sometimes it is not an absolute.

It can be relative. Or it depends on circumstances.

I can say I am rich. But it is true only if I am in a remote village in Africa. In Singapore definitely I am not considered rich.

Anonymous said...

Relatively speaking, PAP is good, which is true. And 60% think it is also true, which is what really matters in 700 sq km urban Singapore.

The said...


Anonymous said...

Tharman's appears to be creating alot of pro-PAP spin nowadays - first the HDB $1000 fiasco and now this... sigh

Anonymous said...

Spot on Lucky. This bunch of pap multi$million nincompoops are making fools of themselves. Any thinking and knowledgeable Singaporeans will see thru their propaganda. But some Singaporeans are still in pap induced coma. Many have wakened up after they are hit hard with inflation, unemployment, low wages, high property prices, job insecurity. We need to continue to expose the evil pap for what they are. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Where are our law makers. Do they agreed with the above.

Where are they...

Anonymous said...

It is frustrating to see senior minister making such claims without providing details on the assumptions. Similar to the $1000 salary buying HDB case, I believe every scenario is possible when you just change the assumptions accordingly. The question is whether all the assumptions made are reasonable. I am sick and tired of all these PR stunts. They are just trying to spin positive headlines to give the impression that the government is doing a good job. They are not lying but they are just not telling the whole truth. What sort of government do we have now? Incompetent and dishonest and obessive over power and control. Tharman used to be one of the 'better' ministers in PAP, but his recent comments really make him like a fool like most of his colleagues now.

Anonymous said...

this is the same ministar who told us that $1,000 can sarpork a family and BUY a hdb flat.

go fly kite, tharman!

i used to think that it wld be good for singapore to have you as our next pm, but hey, i guess at least now, we can rule out a non-chinese pm for a while!

ah lian said...

They can bluff and convince us their policies are good, or even the best. But it's quite ridiculous to tell us what our situation is, like we don't know, even though we're the ones LIVING it!

How many times we hear them claim along these lines:
CPF will be enough to retire on.
HDB flats are affordable!
(This one BEST: HDB flats did not shrink!!!)
Foreigners provide jobs.
Wages are not depressed.
Public transport service has improved.

So, after claiming, what's changed? NOTHING. Esp since the claims also indirectly claim that nothing needs to be changed. Everything is PERFECT.

But is it?

Anonymous said...

Tarman likes polishing the road with black tar. Be aware of these white men with black hearts.

jamesneo said...

Dear Lucky, where is the study? What are the assumptions in it? Even if it might be possible, the singapore dollar could have depreciate by 50-99% in 30-40yrs from now due to inflation so that the 70% income would be able to buy only 1/2 to 1/100 of the original things!!

Anonymous said...

"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."
Edmund Burke


"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force."
Ayn Rand


"History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."
Martin Luther King, Jr.


(My Singapore News Abolishing this and that, ISA, PSLE, death sentence…)

(My Singapore News China and Russia The Growing Alliance that won't be intimidated by US Global Aspirations)

Joshua Chiang

Anonymous said...

Rem Teach less, learn More?

Then $1000/mth HDB flat?

and now this crap...

Xianlong said...

cpf board last year still got publish No. of ppl meeting minimum sum:

Chart 2:

Now this year they didn't publish it

Anonymous said...

Among the assumptions that are made to arrive at this conclusion is that everyone is a graduate, both husband and wife works and both will be employed for life.

It is more realistic to have a non-PAP government than for such assumption to come true.

ufo said...

All MPs in singapore can say anything they like including calling singaporeans ugly names without taking any responsibility for their actions. it is not the first time or the last time they lied/ bullshit/ distorted the truth. they are all sheltered by the ruling family unlike commoners who will be sued bankrupt, jailed or caned for such action. The ruling family employs a worst kind of system than communism - capitalism for the rich and facism for the rest.

Anonymous said...

and yet we can do anything or question their motive now, even we have oppostion law makers

ufo said...

Thank you Lucky Tan for exposing all the incompetence of the gahmen. You should be the next PM.

Anonymous said...

The finance minister's claim gave Singaporean a false sense of security that if we save accordingly to the CPF requirements, we will have enough money to cover our retirement.

With inflation at 4+% and CPF interest at 2+%, we are practically "unsaving" every year. Considering the latest round of large scale QEs in US, Europe and Japan, this negative real return will be here to stay for the next few years at least. The generation of people on their 30s today will ultimately need to retire later because the high property price consumes most of their CPF/savings. They will be left with the choices either to retire outside Singapore in a less expensive country, or they will run out of retirement funding before they die.

Anonymous said...

Critical questions that our media wouldn't ask are: what is the definition of "enough" and what retirement age are they working on? 92?

Anonymous said...

Same guy who told us GST is to help the poor. Brilliant half-truth teller.

Anonymous said...

They will only spin tales to tell you what they want you to believe. There's really no hope left for this country unless we vote them out in 2016.

For me, I will just go for early retirement in Malaysia. Cheaper car and housing.

Veritas said...

entIn a interesting way, what government say is true, but the whole truth cannot be honestly said. I have written a blog on this.

Today, where did our old get their monies in retirement? Answer is, the monies from productive FT are transferred to the old they they rent out their HDB.

Wihtout FT, HDB will be an idle asset generating no income. The asset price will also fall off cliff. And few people actually know the our property ponzi which allow our old to cash out and retire in Johor actually needs suckers-- either FT or our grandchildren.

Unfortunately, such policies sap our vitality. The pay as you go pension system is still the best retirement model.

Then what is the place of CPF? The value of CPF is going to zero, as our saving eventually ends up in FX denominated by USD. Recently FED just announce QE to infinity.

Our system needs a complete overhaul but unfortunately, the status quo has been benefitting too much from the system and they will not allow any changes.

Anonymous said...

The calculations includes the value of the HDB home.

That being the case, yes there is enough CPF. But that also means that they have no choice but to keep HDB prices high.

They have painted themselves into a corner.
Beware the beast that has no where to hide or run... are you ready for the kill?

Anonymous said...

The higher Tharman rises in the papist Leegime, the more stupid he becomes. Since his promotion to DPM, he has been talking lots of nonsence. He has to prove to the Lees that he is worthy of their trust. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

If you listen to PAP, we're in trouble. How can one retire based in pre-retirement income when in the civil service, you get a pay cut of 30% when you work past age 62?

Also, many Singaporean couples are taking on 30 year loans. How are they going to retire with a pre-retirement income when by the time they cleared their 30 year loan, there is nothing left in the CPF anymore?

What kind of lies are we made to subscribe to? If we listen to them, we'll be in a rude shock in our old age and they won't be around to justify their bullshit!

Merlion said...

The article raised an interesting question. The simple answer is that at the individual level, one can have enough CPF savings for retirement. But nationally, there will be less people paying income taxes, and less people working to contribute to the economy (hence, the need to augment our core local workforce with foreigners) leading to slow or even negative growth, that affects tax revenue. Yet on the other hand, we can expect higher social spending...

You can better understand why a 1K income for a family can still afford a HDB flat. Please see clarification at


Anonymous said...


even if you are rite that there are contradictions indeed,

WHY should you care?

My advice is ps dun waste time lah.

Anonymous said...

Maruah and Function 8, it's about morality, it's about Alex Au's immoral personal conduct and agenda, political and personal expediency,it's a Sodom and Gomorrah situation.
Does Maruah and Function 8 subscribe to the notion that liberty is licence for gay
and lesbian orientation? God forbids.


“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Prov. 14:34.)

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity...
And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure,
reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” George Washington, September 17, 1796 .

Yet there are people today who think that liberty is licence and that morality is unimportant or irrelevant to politics and economics.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.
As nations become corrupt and vicious,they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin

search google, Overview of America - YouTube

PS, could not get to post at Yahoo site at,
(Archbishop, blogger clash over report on ISA letter - Yahoo! News Singapore)
sorry for the intrusion.

Joshua Chiang

Anonymous said...

Political Satire

PAP-MIW Stickers I'd Like To See

1. PAP: End of an Error

2. Vote PAP. You're Not Using Your Civil Liberties Anyway.

3. Fixing You, After Fixing Democracy in this Country.

4. MIWs, Steady Like a Rock - Only Dumber.

5. Of Course It Hurts: You're Getting Screwed With Lightning.

6. Hey, PAP Supporters: Embarrassed Yet?

7. MIWs: Creating the Mess Our Kids Will Have to Fix.

8. Singapore: One Nation, Under Surveillance

9. No, Seriously, Why Did You Vote PAP?

10. PAP: God's Way of Proving Forecasting And Planning is Full of Crap

11. We Need a President Who Can Work Faster Than 56 Man-Years.

12. You Voted PAP. You Deserve PAP.

13. The MIWs: Leading the Way to 17th Century Singapore

14. What Part of "They Are Lying" Don't You Understand?

15. At Least Devan Nair Resigned

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Don't forget that everyone will have to work till death.

The issue of savings in the CPF is irrelevant. All the minimum sums are irrelevant when you have to work to death.

Anonymous said...

the same shit as 2 is enough. just propaganda. no long term thinking.

Anonymous said...

To the daft 60.1% if the Govt said fruits are bad for your health and apples is good to keep sickness away,they will believe both statements are true.

Anonymous said...

The PAP regime is bankrupt of new ideas; all it is doing to defend their jaded ideologies. This is symptomatic of unbridled hubris. The crux is that the regime has moved progressively from central right to extreme right since its humble beginnings. Its meritocracy ideology is nothing but packaged elitism.

patriot said...

Sinkies are thinking people, unfortunately
their actions are always behind and slower
than their ideas.

The Sin leaders are fast in their actions but,
mindless of consequences. The rift between
the citizenry and the leadership will get more
acrimonious before ultimately blossoming into


Anonymous said...

Meritocracy = Nazi ideology ?

The poor, sick and elderly are being targeted?

High HDB flat prices, CPF Minimum Sum Limits are the gas chambers being used to finish us off?

Anonymous said...

Stupid Sinkies have even been conned into drinking their own urine.

Anonymous said...

I used to respect Tharman a lot.

With this latest spin, he has just dented his own credibility.

Not a smart move, Mr Tharman.

Anonymous said...

"Young Singaporeans entering the workforce today will have accumulated enough savings in their Central Provident Fund (CPF) when they retire to see them through their golden years. This was one of the key findings from a Ministry of Manpower-commissioned study, revealed Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday."

I would say maybe not 100% of young people will have accumulated enough savings in their CPF when they retire.

If I were Tharman, if just 60% of them have enough savings in their CPF when they retire, it is good enough already.

Because in Singapore a party that can secure only 60% votes in elections can win 93% seats in Parliament.

So 60% not good enough meh?

Anonymous said...

60% may not be a lot but it really matters.

Lucky Tan should think hard, blog more and most important, do more to win over this 60% in 2016.

Simply because if he wants to have his way, there is no other way.

Anonymous said...

Just keep voting Opposition in GE 2016.

Don't worry.
PAP will still retain 93% of seats in parliament.
Your protest votes just means everybody gets better cash bonus before general elections.

Minghui Kuok said...

I don't have to take too much note on connecting the dots to see the fallacy behind Tharman's words.

Simply put, the findings have a major loophole that the Gov had always been stressing about: Inflation and the system's inability to fight that monster.

Simply put, no economist can predict inflation come 10 years down the road, let alone beyond that. It's just a game of figures without actual situations taken into account.

Just to quote a famous example in Chinese history: The failure at Baima was down to the assumption on Yan Liang's strength as the most prestigious general together with Wen Chou under Yuan Shao's banner.
But nothing was being said on the loopholes in terms of the actual situation at hand.
Actually, Ju Shou knew about it. Just that Yuan Shao didn't give a two hoots on his advise.

Anonymous said...

Vote Opposition in GE 2016.
And they will examine Tharman's claims for us.

Don't worry.
Gerrymandering will ensure that the Pro Alien Millionaires will always retain 93% of the seats in parliament.

sgcynic said...

Indeed, Tharman WAS one of the few From the PAP that I liked. Now, I view him in disgust.

Minghui Kuok said...

@sgcynic: What to do? His boss the Gov mah! Boss says 1, where got subordinate say 2 one? Every politico party in every country works the same way. Unless SG can create its very own Ron Paul.

The Pariah said...

Fantastic, Lucky Tan! As usual, once you connect the dots, you see a picture vastly different from what the Pay And Profit (PAP) Govt is trying to sell.

Pls read pp 3-5 - what NUS LKY School of Public Policy Assoc Prof Hui Weng Tat wrote:

The only reason MOM commissioned another study on CPF adequacy and IRR is because the above earlier study had OPPOSITE FINDINGS:

"Depending on CPF savings alone, a person with post-secondary education earning $2,560 could only expect to live on 22% of their last drawn pay when they retired". This assumed that "HDB purchases were made at age 30 at the maximum price supportable by CPF contributions with two spouses contributing to mortgage payments".

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