The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) shared that a 72-year old man’s case – where he has to drive a taxi because of insufficient payouts, yet still has to contribute to his MediSave – “sums up everything that’s wrong with the CPF system”.
In a post on their website, the SDP wrote, “The current system manipulated by the present generation of PAP leaders have turned the scheme into a nightmare for Singaporeans, and Clifford Theseira’s case highlights the problems”.
Mr Theseira had withdrawn a total of about S$140,000 over 17 years from his CPF savings since turning 55. 72-years old currently, he and his wife own a fully paid up 5-room HDB flat.
To supplement his retirement savings, Mr Theseira says he drives a Grab taxi. He also has more than S$50,000 in his Medisave account but is forced to continue to contribute to it, failing which his Grab driver’s licence will not be renewed.
The SDP also questioned, “To date, the Government has refused to provide data on how many individuals squander their savings and turn to the state for help. Does the number warrant a blanket punishment for the vast majority of retirees like Mr Theseira who are responsible and astute managers of their own funds and lives?”
“Another crucial question that the PAP must answer is why at the age of 72 must Mr Theseira and others like him continue to work to support himself and his wife?
The answer, if the PAP cares to admit, is that many retirees are now asset rich but cash poor. In simple words, Singaporeans have had little choice but to use their retirement savings during their working years to pay for their HDB loans.
These loans are often stretched to 25 to 30 years because of the inflated prices of the flats. When they now have to retire, they find themselves with insufficient savings”, they added.
They wrote that because of “distortions in the CPF scheme”, many elderly have to fight for their survival, and promised that “the SDP is determined to rectify the problem when we get into the next Parliament”. /TISG