Monday, August 18, 2014

One Step Forward, One Step Back

That’s what I think of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s announcement yesterday at the annual National Day Rally. Now, the newspaper are all crowing about how retirees in Singapore will now be allowed to withdraw money from their Central Provident Fund (CPF), but in the small print comes two big caveats.

a)      they can only withdraw a limited portion of their CPF savings in a lump sum (no word yet on how limited or even when they can start doing so), and
b)      the CPF Minimum Sum will be raised from S$155,000 this year to S$161,000 next year.

That is literally one step forward and one step back. On one hand you say retirees can withdraw money from their CPF but refused to say when or how much they can withdraw, and on the other hand you give a firm figure on how much the CPF Minimum Sum will be raised to and even give a date on when it will be raised.

On second thought, change that. That's not one step forward and one step back! It’s one tiny step forward, and one giant leap back!

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