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Make rules governing use of CPF more flexible: MP Tin Pei Ling

Making the use of CPF monies more flexible for mature Singaporeans to take care of their immediate needs, such as mortgages and school fees, is the 'compassionate' option, Marine Parade GRC MP says in Parliament

SINGAPORE: The Government needs to evaluate the feasibility of guaranteeing a higher rate of return on Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies so that it can better withstand inflation and ensure Singaporeans' CPF monies will be well above the minimum sum, said Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC Ms Tin Pei Ling on Tuesday (May 27).

Ms Tin, speaking at the debate on President Tony Tan Keng Yam's May 16 address, urged the Government to make the rules governing the use of CPF monies more flexible, to allow mature Singaporeans to take care of their immediate needs such as HDB mortgages and children's education.

Said Ms Tin: "Such a move is in line with a more compassionate society. Does it mean a higher risk that some Singaporeans will not have enough in their old age? Maybe, but the reality is that some of these Singaporeans are in desperate need for help and we need to help them reach that life buoy as they try so hard to paddle ashore on their own."

She also called for more flexibility in the use of the Medisave payout of the Pioneer Generation Package.

"Specifically, it can be converted into cash in some years, to give our pioneers autonomy of choice in deciding whether the money is better used for healthcare or other pressing living needs. To encourage prudence, this option can be capped at, say, five times. Fiscally, the budget should remain pretty much the same, but practically, our elderly pioneers will have an additional lever to pull in times of need."

Ms Tin also said that Singapore's education system must prepare its young for a competitive, fast-changing world.

Therefore, the system has to teach them to have multi-disciplinary skills, to be versatile and adaptable by equipping the young with skills of the future, in a world where work will be transformed and enabled by technology.

In taking steps to prepare children and youth for the future, she referred to how computer coding - a fundamental in understanding and designing technology - is proliferating schools in many countries. 

"I am not saying that teaching coding is definitely the way to go; but it is important that our education planners adopt a future-oriented attitude in curriculum development."

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