Don't compel if you can't guarantee

The govt is making CPF Life compulsory for CPF contributors by 2013. And it claims that the payout will be for life. But it also has a provision to say that if the fund is insolvent, it can stop paying to the CPF members who have paid money into the scheme. Halimah Yaacob has correctly pointed out that “the relationship between the CPF Board and the CPF members, however, is not just a legal contract (but) a social contract as the board has a social responsibility to manage CPF funds prudently in order to help Singaporeans meet their retirement needs.” Straits Times. Did the CPF members ask to be in the annuity scheme? NO. It is the govt that is compelling the CPF members to put their money into the scheme. If that is so, the govt better guarantees that the money is there and will be paid to the contributors as promised. Otherwise don't make it compulsory. The provision not to pay is unacceptable.


Anonymous said...

This is indeed surprising,and I believe that very few citizens would believe that such clause could actually be in force.

What is happening?

"it also has a provision to say that if the fund is insolvent, it can stop paying to the CPF members who have paid money into the scheme."

Anonymous said...

Just another way of saying, things are not going well. We don't know if we're able to pay you back the money you've entrusted to us all these years.

Anonymous said...

Not only that, the amount to be paid out can be adjusted any time and there is no stipulated minimum.

Is the government taking us as morons? When we purchase insurance from private sector companies, we are guaranteed a minimum or fixed payout upon maturity.

This is daylight robbery since we are forced into a scheme where we have to invest our money with no guaranteed return.

Anonymous said...

Yes, sound very depressing but what can we do? Vote the governmet out. That's not likely to happen. If money is already lost, what's the point. I guess we better start saving for old age because CPF may not be there when we retire. Just assume it's income tax. You're not going to see your money again.

Matilah_Singapura said...

This is quite amazing. Only last week I was talking to my family - who complain incessantly about "high tax in western countries" - that the state finance system in S'pore will be changing soon to accommodate the social-welfare/entitlement mentality aspects of the S'pore political economy.

The idea of "social contracts" is complete bullshit - the state can change the rules at any time for any reason or no reason at all. But the bleeding citizen is bound to such arbitrary contracts by force of LAW - which is created and administered by the state. in other words, for the bleeding citizen, there is essentially no escape. He either complies with his elite political masters or he is in default of the "social" contract and thus subject to punitive action - fines or jail, extremely popular methods of the S'pore judiciary.

Thus even if the govt says it is going to pay out "for life" (think abiut it: this is an improbable claim), it really doesn't have to abide with its promises. i t can change the rules (its own rules) anytime by simply making new legislation.

CPF is a tax - a tax used to fund an ongoing LEGAL pyramid scheme. Any changing of the language by "officials" or "authority" is just a sick joke designed to fool the citizens.

Wally Buffet said...

This is not good. Not good at all.

How can our money managed by the State be "insolvent"?

Perhaps, this is just a "kiasu" clause? I hope I am right.

solo bear said...


On this point, I agree with you fully.

Anonymous said...

They tried to justify by comparing to commercial insurance policies. In commercial cases, it is us who CHOOSE to be insured, which insurance company and what plans. We decide first if we want to be insured, and if we do, what plans are suitable for us.

With CPF Life, we are COMPELLED by law. We DO NOT have a choice. Please don't tell me I have 4 options. They are not options if I don't want to participate in such a scheme in the first place.

They just want our coffin money.

Anonymous said...

This is not good. It undermines the people's confidence in the CPF. That such a situation can possibly happen is beyond what we were conditioned to believe.

Lost Citizen

Anonymous said...

You are told and forewarned and if insolvency does happened; well just too bad as YOU ARE ALREADY PRE-INFORMED of such a possibility.

They have been very kind to let You know of possible consequences !

redbean said...

anything that is good needs no compulsion. people will queue up to buy it.

Kaffein said...

It will be there alright. Just that you can't take it out. I'd be lying if I say they won't come up another policy to withhold your payouts.

CPF = You can't touch this (Hammer's song).


Bernie's pal said...

The people's confidence in CPF is irrelevant. Even if no one has any confidence, we still have to contribute. That's the law. Even if the government announce CPF is insolvent, we will still have to contribute. There is no way out of this. Just save on your own. Don't wait for CPF. If you get to see your CPF money one day, that's a bonus. If not, this will go down as the biggest con job in human history. Bigger than Bernie Madoff. One more thing Singapore can claim to be numero Uno. And no one will go to jail for that.

redbean said...

hi Bernie's pal, welcome to the blog.

i only have this statement to make. don't help us by taking our money to help us. we can do that ourselves, more efficiently. target those that need help, not blindly across the board.

Bernie's pal said...

Redbean, don't be naive. The law says, contribution is mandatory. Why should the government change that and only target "those who needs help"? That would be discriminatory. Besides, who are you to say you don't need help. The government have scholars and other highly paid professional looking after money in CPF. CPF is in safer hands of scholars than the average HDB dweller.

redbean said...

hi Bernie's pal, you are absolutely right on this. i am day dreaming all the time. it is a good pasttime to relieve stress.

have faith, our money is in good hands.

Bernie's pal said...

Redbean, I apologise for the sarcasm. I'm just as exasperated as the next person who has contributed CPF for the good part of his working life. To me, hoping for change in CPF rules in favour of the contributors is futile. I'm also looking for a way out of this predicament. How can I get back what is rightfully mine and park it somewhere safe away from the hare brained ideas so called experts?

redbean said...

hi Bernie's pal, don't worry, i read you exactly what you want to say : )

whatever scheme, ultimately it is our money being held in ransom.

the exit strategy is the best strategy.

Anonymous said...

"How can I get back what is rightfully mine"

With our votes. The only problem is everyone is waiting for everyone else to do the "dirty" job while playing safe with their own votes.

redbean said...

blowing the property bubble is like running up a slippery slope. cannot stop running.

complaining is still a very impt aspect of telling people it is hurting. otherwise people will say, no complaints means everyone is happy.

have you heard of this kind of reasoning? the excuse for the minibond fiasco is that there were too little complaints. so things are bearable.

Matilah_Singapura said...

"Mandatory" contribution = tax.

Changing the words or the language doesn't alter the fact.