Photo of Josephine Teo from Straits Times

Claiming that Singaporeans are “anxious” over their retirement, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo today (May 28) announced that she has formed a new committee looking to increase the CPF payment rate and the Retirement Age.

“A new work group with high-level representatives from the unions, employers and the Government will be established to address older workers’ concerns as Singapore’s workforce ages. Among other matters, it will consider Singapore’s next moves on the retirement and re-employment age, and review the longer-term relevance of these policies. We will also examine the Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rates for older workers and their impact on retirement adequacy. One in three of Singapore’s resident workers today is aged 50 and above. They have anxieties about the future, particularly as technology disrupts businesses and jobs.”

The newly-promoted PAP Minister indicated that elderly workers will need to pay more to CPF like the younger ones who pay as much as 37% in CPF rate:

“The statutory retirement age has been fixed at 62 for the past two decades. It has been raised just once, from 60 to 62, in 1999. But companies must offer re-employment to eligible workers up to age 67. This was upped from 65 to 67 in July last year. As for CPF savings, older workers aged above 55 currently have lower contribution rates, ranging from 12.5 per cent to 26 per cent of their wages, compared to 37 per cent for those who are younger. Given the seriousness of the matter, this new tripartite work group will be chaired by MOM permanent secretary Aubeck Kam, so to better coordinate with relevant agencies. It willl comprise representatives from the unions, employers and the Government, while Mrs Teo, Mr Ng and Singapore National Employers Federation Robert Yap will be the advisors.”

Minister Josephine Teo said that her solution to falling birth rate is to make elderly Singaporeans work as old as they can:

“One of the challenges is the demographic disruption, due to the twin trends of falling birth rates and lengthening life expectancies. In response, we need to make the best of the ageing population to strengthen the workforce. The first question it has to grapple with is “Should we continue to assume that most people do not work beyond age 64?” The second question is how an older population can be turned into “a competitive edge for our economy and society.”

The airhead PAP Minister then started talking about democratic changes in other countries, calling it “very noisy”:

“Such a breakdown of trust elsewhere has led to political disruption such as Brexit, she noted. “A breakdown of trust is often at the root of political disruption, which is a very noisy affair.”