I do not understand why there are always debates related to CPF.
I feel for most Singaporeans, CPF is a good thing.
Taxi drivers are said to have tough job, no CPF and no medical - see how important is CPF ?
One will need to work to have CPF.
With CPF, one can buy for their family a roof over their heads.
I would say some Singaporean do not know how to save money. CPF helps them to save.
I looked it up, what you mentioned was brought up by NMP Chia Yong Yong.
Here it is in context:
SINGAPORE: Nominated MP Chia Yong Yong spoke out against greater flexibility in withdrawing CPF savings in Parliament on Tuesday.
She said this would place a great fiscal obligation on future generations. There had been a lot of discussion on collective responsibilities when it came to the topic of CPF changes.
But Ms Chia noted that it should be viewed in the context of personal responsibilities. For instance, on CPF savings - she felt that people shouldn't be spending like they would be spending their own salary. This is because CPF savings are enhanced by co-payment by employers and through top-ups from public funds.
Ms Chia said: "In relation to the use of CPF money, we have heard proponents who say that the CPF monies is theirs. "It's our money, it's in our account, it's our retirement money. I want it out, I will spend it anyway we want." Fine. Is it our money? Our CPF savings are enhanced and forced CPF savings which are accumulated through our own deferred consumption, through co-payment by our employers and through top-ups from public funds. Is it really my private money? Do I have the right to spend it the way I would spend my own salary? I'm not entirely sure.
"I know at the end of the day, that because I'm not the only person contributing to the fund, I cannot be the only person to call the shots as to how I am going to spend it. At the very least, I have a moral obligation to spend it wisely. Why do I say that? Because if I'm not judicious in my spending at the end of the day, who's going to maintain me in my twilight years - the state? Who? Ultimately it means someone else is bearing it right, another taxpayer. So if I'm not judicious and I'm arguing this is my money, I'm not going to be responsible in my use and if I argue this is your money, you use it anyway you want - I'm not responsible as a citizen."
Ms Chia cautioned against a Budget that leans too heavily to the left.
"We have a Budget that has been praised and approved as leaning to the left. But I would also argue that if we lean too much to the left, we will not have much left. So what I will also want to end up with and conclude is that when we talk about collective responsibility, we need to understand that collective responsibility must also be exercised responsibly on a collective basis, as well as on a personal basis."
I don't think it matters whether or not it is your money. If you can use it as and when you like, then a lot of people (particularly those who are strapped for cash) will use it recklessly and have not enough money left for retirement. This will put a burden on society because the government will then have to pay them some money, and this money has to come from taxpayers.
If they allowed you to take cash out of a retirement savings account freely, what's the point of having it in the first place? Spending out of retirement savings is just a bad idea.
I would rather they have CPF than charge everyone a equivalent % as tax and have one standard pension plan for everyone, and an option to add on for a better pension plan, which is what most countries have in place.
At least you can see the monetary value right now.
Its like saying that the money I placed in the bank or insurance acc is not my money because it was pooled with other ppls money and invested, earning money (extra money that was not my original money).
On the flipside, just because you know how to manage your money, does it mean everyone else can? If you're smart enough to know how to manage your money, you should be smart enough to work the CPF system into your own retirement planning. Whether it's technically your money or not, you'll still have that money. You put the money there, when you retire, some annuity starts to pay you money. Do I care that that money belongs to me, or the govt, or some other company? No, as long as I'm getting the money.
No bank or asset is going to guarantee you 2.5% returns. I'd say it's a pretty good deal. I lock in the money so I don't screw up my retirement funds, and I get some decent interest out of it. As for the rest of the money I need, I can look to more risky assets to grow my money.
Many changes which I disagree with. Lump sump withdrawals are like windfalls, people in general tend to spend them too quickly. People are going to want to withdraw their CPF money, and the CPF staff will have to do more work to determine if they can withdraw/explain to them that they should not/cannot withdraw the money. All these increases overhead and does nothing to improve retirement security.