A government-appointed CPF Advisory Panel has failed for the third time to meet it’s self-set deadline for proposals to increase CPF returns and payouts. The proposals were supposed to be ready by End June, but the Singapore government postponed the release to “a few months’ time” without setting a specific date this round.
The CPF Advisory Panel was set up by the Ministry of Manpower in September 2014, and aimed to release a set of CPF changes proposal by “mid of 2015”, during the election period. Singaporean voters believed in the ruling party government, momentarily cheered the government’s decision and voted overwhelmingly for the PAP, but after the elections in July, the CPF Advisory Panel claimed that “the process would take a long time as investment options are more technical”. They then set a new deadline to end 2015.
However by end 2015, the CPF Advisory Panel did not release their proposals and when prompted by public queries, the Ministry of Manpower then said the proposals would be ready by end-June 2016. Today, the proposal has been postponed without a specific date given.
The Ministry of Manpower said: “This has taken more time as investment issues are technical and complex, and thus require careful deliberation and review. The panel is now wrapping up its study.”
CPF is a contentious political issue in Singapore as retirement of elderly are non-existent and it is common to see elderly Singaporeans working in low income demeaning jobs like cleaners or security guards.
Many Singaporeans speculated that the CPF is not returning payout because the Prime Minister’s wife, Ho Ching, CEO of the country’s sovereign wealth fund company Temasek Holdings, has gambled away the CPF funds in the stock market and suffered undisclosed losses in Europe and China.
Several writers like Roy Ngerng, Han Hui Hui and other protestors were recently fined for protesting against the CPF at the government-appointed protest location, Hong Lim Park. Roy Ngerng is near-bankrupt after being sued for S$150,000 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for his articles detailing on CPF.