Monday, 9 February 2015

Letter of Disappointment

When you get a government job, I understand that you get a Letter of Appointment.

Similarly, when you are appointed to some role like a member of the CPF Panel of Advisors, I suppose you will get a Letter of Appointment.

So when you are discharged from that job or that appointment, do you get a Letter of Disappointment?

Maybe I am being unfair, but I really think the panel should all get Letters of Disappointment.

Their recommendations in the main, helps those who are in the higher income. Take these scenarios - to be able to take advantage of the "loophole" means being able to afford the enhanced CPF Life retirement sum.

Personally, as someone who is NOT in the lowest 30th percentile, and who can afford the enhanced CPF for my wife, I would be HAPPY to be able to get enhanced CPF Life for my wife.

But we are not the one who needs help. (But we're not stupid as to refuse a valuable gift).

I would have like to see the panel make recommendations that would help the lower income, particularly those who are unable to meet the minimum sum.

Of course, the panel may have been constrained by their terms of reference.

All they were asked to do was to see how the Minimum sum should be adjusted to ensure a basic "pension", and how to allow members to withdraw a larger lump sum.

These narrow terms of reference leaves no room to discuss let alone review the CPF scheme as a whole.

And questions like the fundamental role of the CPF (retirement preparedness and adequacy?) and how that should be safeguarded (or sacrosanct), secondary objectives like home ownership (and how to contain housing prices) and education and how these should not undermine the fundamental purpose of the CPF, and how the lowest income of those most likely to have difficulties to meet these fundamental objectives can be helped.

The narrow terms of reference, and the populist, upper income focus were disappointing.

Very disappointing.

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