The compulsory annuity scheme tweak to the CPF system to deal with the aging population was recently announced by PM Lee Hsien Loong in his NDP Rally Speech 2007. It has drawn heated discussion from many quadrants of Singapore's society, not least in the blogosphere. Here is a collection of links on the subject:
My first link is that from Bart JP, who is pursuing his PhD in Economics in LSE and will be later joining the government as an Economist. I list his view at the top because it is one of the few voices openly lauding PM Lee's announcement to implement "longevity insurance."
A second voice supporting the proposed compulsory annuity is that from Singapore Angle, by Teh Ci. He thinks that "the compulsory annuity is a good thing for Singaporeans."
The next is a balanced viewpoint from veteran journalist Seah Chiang Nee: "With the rising cost of living, senior citizens who have little education, money or family support are becoming the city state’s rising disenchanted."The Online Citizen is sceptical about the proposed initiative, with couple of their writers having a go. Prolific writer Leong Sze Hian takes the opposition to Bart JP and engages the CPF system directly in three posts, all are definitely worth your time:
From the same website, Andrew Loh compares the pension that ministers get in comparison to the plight of average Singaporeans.
The above discussions have been remarkably civil, let's get down to having more fun. Lucky Tan in his usual sarcastic style tells us why we should "[w]ork longer and harder..and ... help to solve the problem of ageing Singaporeans without burdening the PAP govt." Or should we?
Meanwhile, we can never ignore the father of the blogosphere, Mr Brown, as he gives his take in his Mr Brown Show.
But what does this issue really boil down to? Perhaps it is just the issue of whether the government should be deciding for us how we should deal with our retirement, or whether we should be left to our own devices to plan for our old age. While the annuity scheme might be a good idea in theoretical economics, forcing it down Singaporeans' throats is politically questionable. Aaron Ng articulates this idea quite nicely.
The main ideas have been expressed above, but there are many other pieces of good commentary on the CPF system, the annuity proposal, and the aging population in general. Take your time to work through them:
Don't forget to visit Sei-ji Rakugaki, who has drawn a cartoon for us :)
Update: There has been talk of a planned organised silent protest on sometime soon! Things are getting exciting! Read more:
Goh Meng Seng has expressed his displeasure at the compulsory annuities:
Note: This post will be updated as more content appears. Leave a comment if you think there is a good post that needs to be included
Disclaimer: I neither endorse nor oppose the proposed protest against the compulsory annuities.