Channel NewsAsia

Ensuring retirement adequacy is crucial: MP Zaqy Mohamad

MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, said it is timely for the Government to address the issue of retirement adequacy and review CPF policies to that end.

SINGAPORE: MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, said it is timely for the Government to address the issue of retirement adequacy and review CPF policies to that end.

Kicking off the debate on a motion of thanks for President Tony Tan Keng Yam's May 16 address, Mr Zaqy said that while the Pioneer Generation Package has helped the pioneer generation and families deal with future healthcare costs, the group he feels requires immediate concern is the "sandwiched" class.

He added that many residents are concerned about whether they have enough in their CPF savings to meet the Minimum Sum, pay for their home and children's education, or support the medical fees if they have a family member that needs constant medical care.

Many in the middle class only see the 2Ms – Medisave and MediShield – and they face the difficulty of being means-tested across the family to get access to Medifund, he added.

To help more low-income workers, he called on the Government to expand the Progessive Wage Model and the Workfare Income Supplement to cover jobs and industries that have seen lagging salary increases or depressed salaries due to heavy reliance on cheaper foreign manpower.

Mr Zaqy also suggested that the CPF can consider a Government-backed investment plan that tracks inflation, above the existing Ordinary Account and Special Account interest rates.

"The existing CPF-approved investment funds are left to the market which often has certain financial risks beyond the understanding of the ordinary CPF contributor. A Government-led plan may come somewhere in between, in that it is a trusted plan, with standard terms and the objective of tracking inflation to protect one's savings for the long-term," he said.

Mr Zaqy said he was in support of the President's speech in laying out an agenda that is far-sighted to safeguard and build a better Singapore, but added that he would like to see more "heart" in how the Government will implement this mission.

He said social safety nets should be strengthened for the vulnerable and the elderly, the social fabric should remain cohesive for generations to come and Singaporeans should be provided with a safe, secure, high quality of living that is affordable.

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna