Chuan Jin used the analogy of a game to describe what is happening to the CPF scheme at the CPF Forum organized by the Institute of Public Policy. He was referring to the changing conditions and said that the rules of the game had changed, conditions had changed. The CPF scheme is not about a game but about the people’s life savings for retirement. The govt must get this straight and not to confuse with govt pension schemes where the fund comes from the public coffer. The govt can change all the rules of a pension scheme, no one will care or object to it. The money in the CPF scheme comes from the pocket of the people, saving for their retirement. Please don’t suka suka change the rules without the people’s consent.

The compulsion to save in the first part of the people’s life, up to 55 years old, is a necessary evil. The second part or the next phase must be the return of the money to the savers. It is as simply as that. The govt has no moral right to keep the people’s money at its own pleasure. Legislating it to be legal is still not right. Taking this further, the govt might as well legislate the savings of the people in the banks, like in Greece and take a portion of it?

Put it simply, the money must be returned to the people at 55. Period. Given the changing circumstances and life expectancy, the younger generations may have to relook at what is a reasonable age to take back their savings. For those in their 50s and above, they should be taking back all their savings at 55. The good hearted govt can think of ways to design favourable and attractive schemes like annuity plans, or savings plans with higher interest rates to entice the people to leave their money in such schemes, VOLUNTARILY, after 55. The people must be allowed to exercise their choice on what they want to do with their money, NOT the govt’s money. This is basic human decency! Can the boys and girls understand this?

No more funny schemes to retain the money in the CPF compulsorily because the boys and girls said so. The govt can no longer treat the people as daft peasants of the 3rd world, unthinking, irresponsible with their money and helpless. The people are well educated, well informed and definitely not daft, definitely smarter than many of the policy makers.

And what is this thing that people must keep on contributing to their CPF regardless of how old they are when they have to apply or renew their licences? After certain age, it is time to take out the savings, time to stop savings for tomorrow that can really be the next day or the next hour. For those who have a lot of money, they can go on and on saving even if they are 100 years old. Those are different kind of people.