Clifford Theseira’s Predicament Sums Up Everything That’s Wrong With the CPF System

When the CPF system was started in 1955, it had a laudable goal – to help workers put a little of their wages aside for retirement.

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.

First, the facts as provided by the CPF Board. Mr Theseira had withdrawn a total of about $140,000 over 17 years from his CPF savings since turning 55. He is presently 72. He owns 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 $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.

This elderly man doesn’t seem like the sort who is irresponsible with his finances. After all, he has worked all his life to the point that he has fully paid for his flat. As far as we know, he continues to live with his wife and now drives a taxi even at his age.

But the PAP insists that people like him cannot be trusted with their own savings because they may squander it and then turn to the State for financial help, hence the Minimum Sum Scheme cooked up in 1987 to withhold CPF funds from retirees.

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?

Or is the Minimum Sum Scheme a convenient excuse to hold on to a vast pool of public funds for the government’s benefit?

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.

In the meantime, the PAP government sits on reserves estimated by some sources to be $1 trillion. Much of these funds have been derived from the government selling land to HDB buyers, land which it paid little or nothing for.

Mr Theseira also laments the fact that he has to continue to pay into his Medisave account when he already has close to $60,000 in it.

This is another way in which the PAP financially bleeds the people. Medisave sits on reserves of about $90 billion. It pays out annually around $900 million from patients’ accounts – that’s approximately 1% of the total quantum it holds!

Part of the problem is that the PAP continues to treat our healthcare system as a profit-driven industry with our public hospitals built and run like 5-start hotels with all the unnecessary costs and expenses that come with these trimmings.

Retirees like Mr Theseira ought to be living out their retirement years with security and peace of mind after having worked a lifetime to raise their children, be good employees, and help build the country. Instead, because of the distortions in the CPF scheme, they now find themselves fighting for their survival.

An HSBC report said that Singapore is one of the toughest countries to retire in with 30% of pre-retirees saying that they will never be able to retire fully, compared with 18% globally.

This situation cannot continue, and the SDP is determined to rectify the problem when we get into the next Parliament.

Singapore Democrats

yyy
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21 Responses to “Clifford Theseira’s Predicament Sums Up Everything That’s Wrong With the CPF System”

  • oxygen:

    THE LOW ARTIFICIALLY-DEPRESSED CPF return rate barely keep pace with even inflation (understated in statistical beauties) IS GUARANTEED TO MAKE CPF MONEY GROSSLY INADEQUATE FOR RETIREMENT SUBSISTENCE.

    Look at Australia Future fund on how they performed since inception in 2008.

    ” since inception in May 2006, while its annualised return of 10.4 per cent”

    https://www.afr.com/companies/financial-services/future-fund-returns-11-5pc-assets-grow-to-162-5b-20190827-p52ldt

    IF CPFB AS TRUSTEE can pay us the same rate of return minus some administrative costs for 25 years of work life, we did all multi-millionaires.

    AND NOW WE CAN’T EVEN GET OUR CPF MONEY BACK ON TIME.

    IT IS AN ABSOLUTE MESS.

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  • oxygen:

    Ooops, typo error there, sorry

    oxygen: Look at Australia Future fund on how they performed since inception in 2008.

    should be read as

    oxygen: Look at Australia Future fund on how they performed since inception in 2006.

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  • Loke:

    Not only old people got living problem.

    Young also got.

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  • Noob Spotted:

    So many sour IBs here ready to flame for the sake of flaming.

    yeah vote gahmen out, oppo give everyone pension $3000 a month, climate change will be stopped and no more poverty yay! no more raising gst to give drumstick take whole chicken, just print money pay for pension and free healthcare!

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  • Why no oppo party take it up?:

    “IF CPFB AS TRUSTEE can pay us the same rate of return minus some administrative costs for 25 years of work life, we did all multi-millionaires.”

    Very true. Wonder why no oppo party want to take it up in their manifesto?

    Want to have a million dollars in your CPF? Vote WP/SDP/RP/any P but PAP.

    Empower CPFB into a real trustee investment board. With 8 to 10% annual return, most CPF members will retire with a million or even a few million in their CPF.

    oxygen:
    THE LOW ARTIFICIALLY-DEPRESSED CPF return rate barely keep pace with even inflation (understated in statistical beauties) IS GUARANTEED TO MAKE CPF MONEY GROSSLY INADEQUATE FOR RETIREMENT SUBSISTENCE.

    Look at Australia Future fund on how they performed since inception in 2008.

    ” since inception in May 2006, while its annualised return of 10.4 per cent”

    https://www.afr.com/companies/financial-services/future-fund-returns-11-5pc-assets-grow-to-162-5b-20190827-p52ldt

    IF CPFB AS TRUSTEE can pay us the same rate of return minus some administrative costs for 25 years of work life, we did all multi-millionaires.

    AND NOW WE CAN’T EVEN GET OUR CPF MONEY BACK ON TIME.

    IT IS AN ABSOLUTE MESS.

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  • Spore ripe for ceca PM:

    Noob Spotted:
    So many sour IBs here ready to flame for the sake of flaming.

    yeah vote gahmen out, oppo give everyone pension $3000 a month, climate change will be stopped and no more poverty yay! no more raising gst to give drumstick take whole chicken, just print money pay for pension and free healthcare!

    you got it very wrong, fellow citizen.

    one thing only is needed. land cost for HDB. public housing cannot have land cost included. if only this thing is taken care of, many of current social ills faced by 70% sheep goes away.

    pap pricing land for public housing as if it is a never ending source of S$m to waste away is digging a deeper and deeper hole since median wage at S$3,500 pm isn’t going up at the same rate.

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  • oxygen:

    @ Noob Spotted

    NO, IT IS THE TRIUMPH of ignorance, denial. obfuscation and prevarications trying ever so hard in desperation to blindfold peasants, but all got sadly exposed here.

    If PAPpypolitics and PAPpynomics works, LEE-jiapore won’t be in this desperate quagmire now. They won’t be so frightened of peasants talking among themselves in the social media.

    AFTER ALL PAPpypolitics for the last 5 decades is a meandering river of endless lies, scams deception, selling 1% truth, 99% lies, fantasy and propaganda.

    Noob Spotted: So many sour IBs here ready to flame for the sake of flaming.

    yeah vote gahmen out, oppo give everyone pension $3000 a month, climate change will be stopped and no more poverty yay! no more raising gst to give drumstick take whole chicken, just print money pay for pension and free healthcare!

    GD Star Rating
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  • 5 yr old even knows:

    next tie when u go to the voting booth, think about CPF and CECA. yr hand will automatically move to the correct party logo

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  • Asd:

    You voted for it so shut up go use your skill future and get a good job

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  • a PG:

    The million$$$ politicians can withhold/retain our coffin money. Can the tax-payers or retirees withhold or cut these millionaires salaries & bonuses. Y do we allow ourselves to make them pay themselves whatever amount they like. This is a greed, ownself pays ownself. I think it is like a form of money disease. Do they really need million$$$ to survive while the majority of the ppl are struggling to lay food on their tables?

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  • N.Jungne:

    Enough of these Donkey business. VTO

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  • We not stupid lah!:

    Asset rich but cash poor? It is just a nice phrase coined to fooled stupid people. Your home is never an asset. It does not make money for you because you live in it. In fact you need to spend money maintaining it. An asset?
    Your HDB depreciates until it reaches ZERO in 99 years. An asset?

    Finally, can you live on the money from selling your home without a roof over your head? Don’t be stupid lah!

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  • Any Alexander Vindman?:

    Vote for Change and GST free is already about $5000 saving per year. Good money can bring own children to holiday rather than give money to build infra for others to come rob away jobs. And, What land reclamation has to do with Climate Change?

    And by the way, Malaysia major surgery is ZERO$ dollar for citizens. Can’t do any better, is the more reason why Change is necessary. As they say, we also need capable FT to replace them instead, all to majulah singapora, right?

    Under the PAPi, literally no more loves, no more lives, have to steal lunch boxes, become gojek or hawkers and good paying jobs goes to FTs.

    How much are you paying to the GST? [based on 80% spent]

    Take Home Pay Last 5 Yrs @ 7% Next 5 Yrs @ 9% Total Lost
    $1,000————————–$4,095————————–$5,265———————-$9,360
    $1,500————————–$6,142.5———————$7,897.5————-$14,040
    $2,000————————–$8,190———————–$10,530——————–$18,720
    $2,500————————–$10,237.5————–$13,162.5—————$23,400
    $3,000————————–$12,285——————-$15,795——————–$28,080
    $4,000————————–$16,380——————-$21,060——————–$37,440
    $5,000————————–$20,475——————-$26,325——————–$46,800
    $6,000————————–$24,570——————-$31,590——————–$56,160
    $7,000————————–$28,665——————-$36,855——————–$65,520
    $8,000————————–$32,760——————-$42,120——————–$74,880

    Noob Spotted:
    So many sour IBs here ready to flame for the sake of flaming.

    yeah vote gahmen out, oppo give everyone pension $3000 a month, climate change will be stopped and no more poverty yay! no more raising gst to give drumstick take whole chicken, just print money pay for pension and free healthcare!

    GD Star Rating
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  • guru:

    Actually there is no money in the coffers. That’s why PAP is holding to our CPF.Are you sure there is 1 Trillion in the coffer & investments??? Only rtime will tell when its too late.

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  • Realistically Speaking.:

    Even if we end up eating lesser, is better than mass national dilution, selling livelihoods and harmony away!

    MiloIndianCumMalay says that we can’t trust liars and fixers, fixing the people away.

    The Amaravati Project/CECA failures and problems are very clear dangerous indications of the readiness of forsaking own people, sacrificing them while achieving ZERO, noting to show! It won’t come as any surprise to many, as own father mother dying wish also denied and own siblings were publicly severed.

    The thinking mind says, We cannot have such leaders, we would need to correct the direction before its all too late, even at the expense to eating lesser.

    Noob Spotted:
    So many sour IBs here ready to flame for the sake of flaming.

    yeah vote gahmen out, oppo give everyone pension $3000 a month, climate change will be stopped and no more poverty yay! no more raising gst to give drumstick take whole chicken, just print money pay for pension and free healthcare!

    GD Star Rating
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  • Harder Truths:

    “…in the meantime, the PAP government sits on reserves estimated by some sources to be $1 trillion. Much of these funds have been derived from the government selling land to HDB buyers, land which it paid little or nothing for….”

    Bullshit – there are no reserves. All gone.

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  • George:

    Khaw BW and Tan CJ are everything that is wrong with the Singapore system, rectify the problem and VOTE THEM OUT !

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  • vote OPPO for a better life:

    Harder Truths:
    “…in the meantime, the PAP government sits on reserves estimated by some sources to be $1 trillion. Much of these funds have been derived from the government selling land to HDB buyers, land which it paid little or nothing for….”

    Bullshit – there are no reserves. All gone.

    well said, bro. All Gone.

    Msians have it good since they have a kind elder in Dr Mahatir.

    Singaporeans have it bad since they have a rotten ffffing goh cock tong whose wife says S$600k pa is peanuts and goh cock tong says S$1m pa is mediocre when half the working population if getting less than S$3,500 pm GROSS. in actual fact, more than half of citizens are getting less than S$3,500 pm GROSS since working population in Singapore is a very small percentage. in the end, ffff the 70% sheep.

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  • UniQ:

    Basically, I have 2 similar category as Mr Theseira in my office. Witnessing first hand, I feel sad for them working at this age.

    Many questions raised whenever I sat down with them over coffee to understand them. Sadly they felt that PAP is looking after them rather the Company is !! and why must this responsibility lies with the companies rather than the ruling regime ?

    It has to take much effort over the years to clearly talk to them in many ways to allow them to appreciate that PAP has done nothing for them…That much is true.

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  • Policy Failure:

    Agreed. Policy failure.
    Release the CPF money to them to retire decently.
    It is their money.
    Singaporean is Asset Rich but Cash Poor….

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  • Rama Chandran Andrew:

    Singaporeans grumble on social media but when push comes to shove, they vote for the incumbent. So says kenneth jeyaretnam a long time ago!

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