By Howard Lee
Citing recent concerns from citizens over the Central Provident Fund, the National Solidarity Party (NSP) published a paper to outline its position on the pension fund, with the aim of providing greater clarity in how CPF can meet the needs of retirees.
Describing the recent debate on CPF as "an atmosphere where there is more heat than light", NSP said that populist and reactionary proposals would not be able to resolve the issues that citizens are concerned about.
"NSP believes that in this present crisis of broken faith in the CPF Scheme, a Principled Approach will help Singaporeans to better rationalise the complexities and to regain trust and belief in the benefits of the CPF Scheme."
The party outlined six broad principles in its proposal, which it believed will allow the government to navigate the complexities of the CPF system and provide greater clarity to CPF members.
The broad principles are also followed by six initiatives to reform the CPF system.
The broad principles of the plan recognised the need for employers to be an integral part of the CPF system; to focus on supplementing retirement income rather than retirement adequacy; options for members to control their CPF contribution rates through their income; to view CPF as a tripartite responsibility; usage of CPF as a macro-economic tool; and for the government to top-up the retirement savings for low-income earners.
The proposed solutions include the phasing out of the minimum sum, a review of the lowered contribution rate of older workers, and restoring employer's contributions rate.
NSP also proposed for a better segregation of contributions, such that employees contribute to their ordinary accounts while employers contribute to Medisave and their Special Account.
"NSP believes that our 6 Broad Principles and 6 Principled Proposals will rid the CPF Scheme of unnecessary complexities and give Members greater peace of mind about their CPF savings."
CPF continues to be an issue of concern among citizens, with protesters continuing to occupy Hong Lim Park to voice displeasure about the system.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is slated to make an announcement for changes to CPF in his National Day rally, which will happen this Sunday.
Images - National Solidarity Party website