The PAP Seniors Group (PAP.SG), a group within the People’s Action Party that handles elderly causes, is proposing the Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rate for employees aged 55 and above be raised to 37 per cent, based on media reports.
In its 21-page position later, PAP.SG opined that the CPF contribution rates for senior workers would help boost their retirement adequacy.
Currently, elderly working individual above 55 to 60 see a total CPF contribution rate of 26 per cent of wages, out of which employers contribute 13 per cent. As for those above 60 to 65, they receive a 16.5 per cent contribution rate, with employers providing 9 per cent, whereas employees older than 65 have to contribute 12.5 per cent, with employers giving 7.5 per cent.
However, PAP.SG suggestion of 37 per cent is what workers below 55 are getting now, out of which employers contribute 17 per cent.
Speaking at a press conference, Tan Chuan-Jin, chairman of the PAP.SG as well as Speaker of Parliament, noted that CPF rate suggestion will be tabled at the next Parliament sitting on 11 February.
The PAP.SG paper elaborated recommendations on “creating the right conditions for seniors to enjoy their golden years by being active and productive”.
The group also added that flexible work arrangements should be introduced to encourage seniors to continue working if they want to. The paper proposed employers be given more help to manage the costs of hiring seniors.
This recommendation paper comes weeks before Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat tables the 2019 budget statement on 18 February (Monday). Heng had earlier mentioned that the Budget will emphasise on areas such as healthcare, education, security and defence.
By 2030, one in four Singaporeans is expected to be 65 years old and above, an increase from one in seven currently.
Upon reading this recommendations, many netizens have voiced out their disapproval towards this move. They felt that seniors should be left alone and they should be given back their CPF as what they need the most at this age is hard cash.
Some even opined that by increasing the elderly workers’ CPF contribution rate, employers are going to be reluctant to hire them in the future.