Sunday, 5 October 2014

And a child shall lead them..

I wondered, what does a 22-year-old know about CPF? How much does she have in CPF? When you were 22 (if you are over 22) how much money did you have in your CPF?

Even the 33-yr-old don't seem to understand CPF or the way it works or how investment works.

Well, if you add 22 to 33, you have a 55. That's the closest they will get to being 55 at this time.

In my fantasy, I wished the CPFB would tell them: "We have decided to return ALL your CPF money. Please do not bother us again."

And since they are no longer on the CPF scheme, their employers will save on their CPF contribution. (Of course, they would argue that the employer's CPF should be paid to them as wages, and they may sue their employers for the contribution. And the employers will terminate their employment, because the employers just want employees, not become part of their political statements).

And a few years later when the 22 year old wants to get get married and buy a flat, HDB would say, "According to the records, you do not have any CPF. How will you be paying for your flat? Your partner will be paying for it alone?"

Say the 22-yr-old is very frugal and very prudent and saves a lot of her money for things like housing. The bank pays less than 1% for savings. Invest?

Sure. That's easy money.

And when the 22yo has a child and goes to hospital to deliver, the hospital will say, "oh. You have no medisave. You be paying by cash then?"

Then, retirement.

And they apply for public assistance from the government. And they are told, "according to our records, you declined to participate in the CPF and the minimum sum scheme. As you did not have to contribute to CPF, you had 20% more disposable income for you to save for your retirement. (Or spend in your youth.) Because of this, you will only be eligible for senior citizen's public assistance in 10 years time."

Speaking of retirement, When news of the so-called "CPF blogger" being sued by the PM was reported, one 71-year old man was caught for writing graffiti in support of him.

Note that this man is 71 years old.

That means his minimum sum when he was 55 (in 1998, 16 years ago) was $55,000 (now it's $155,000), but he only needed to provide $16,000 in cash. And whatever was set aside then, would have started to be disbursed to him 6 years ago, when he was 65.

Return his money? It is already being done. He would have received about 60% of whatever was in his retirement account by now. There was no CPF Life for him 16 years ago (it was only introduced in 2009).

So what was his beef with CPF? Return his money? In the first place he wasn't required to leave a lot for the minimum sum, and in the second place even if he left $55k with CPF for the minimum sum this was already being disbursed to him. The problem from his perspective is likely that the monthly disbursement was not enough. The minimum sum of 1998 was not enough for 2014.

So he did the smart thing. He graffiti-ed bus-stops.
"Defending himself in court yesterday, Loh pleaded for leniency, noting that he had been in remand since May 29.
Speaking in Hokkien through an interpreter, Loh, who said that he had been picking up cans as a rag-and-bone man, promised not to commit such offences again.
He also told the court that he had no home to go to since his release from prison in 2003 for causing grievous hurt.
But DPP Lai said Loh could look for counsellors when he was in prison, and if he had problems in his daily life, he could approach family service centres when he was released from prison."
And was sentenced to 4 weeks jail.

Smart. Being above 50, he could not be caned for vandalism. So he became a guest of the government for 4 weeks. He has no home, but for 4 weeks he will have a bed and food. And he would have access to counsellors as well.

If any good came out of the CPF blogger, it was that at least one "homeless" person got a place to sleep and enough to eat for 4 weeks.

There was no information on Loh's (the 71-yo) previous occupation, but if he were in prison regularly (he was jailed for causing grievous hurt as recent as 2003), he might not have had much in terms of a career (in 2003, he would have be 60 yrs old).

So, a 33 yo who does not understand finance, a 22yo with little or no CPF, and a 71 yo who may not have contributed much to CPF, or if he had, would have received much of what he had contributed at 55 and since his 65 birthday, is saying "return our CPF"?

Next I should hire Kong Hee to be my talent manager to help me break into the US market, and Sun Ho to be my back-up singer/dancer.

What do Singaporeans do with the money they take out of their CPF at 55?

Nothing. They just keep it in their bank account. The same bank account that pays 0.25% or less. Instead of leaving it in their CPF for 2.5% interest.

Of course my "fantasy" above will not come to pass, so what does the child and the childish one want to withdraw the money from CPF for?

Well, if you ask them, they best answer they can give you is that it is none of your business what they choose to do with their money. It's about freedom.

I guess I could go into a tirade about "Freedom" as a theoretical concept, and "freedom" in practice - like being financially free, or being free of worry about a retirement income, etc. But arguing with ideologues? Not a good way to spend your time.

In the mean time students in HK are protesting against Beijing to secure democracy for HK - the freedom to choose their chief legislator. And they are being tear-gassed and baton-ed. For democracy. For standing up for freedom.

Over in Singapore, CPF protestors are heckling special needs kids. For their CPF money to be returned.

Brilliant. Bloody brilliant.

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