CPF proposals: NTUC says Basic Retirement Sum a more realistic amount for workers

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said an advisory panel's proposal to reframe the CPF Minimum Sum to the Basic Retirement Sum "provides a more realistic and attainable amount" for most workers to achieve retirement adequacy. -- ST PHOTO: JAM
The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said an advisory panel's proposal to reframe the CPF Minimum Sum to the Basic Retirement Sum "provides a more realistic and attainable amount" for most workers to achieve retirement adequacy. -- ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH 

SINGAPORE - The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said an advisory panel's proposal to reframe the CPF Minimum Sum to the Basic Retirement Sum "provides a more realistic and attainable amount" for most workers to achieve retirement adequacy.

Responding to the slew of recommendations unveiled by a government-appointed panel looking into improvements for the CPF system, the NTUC said it also supports the suggestion to use long-term inflation to adjust the Basic Retirement Sum.

The move "provides greater predictability", said NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Cham Hui Fong in a media statement on Wednesday.

"We are pleased that the Panel shares our concerns on helping members build up their retirement savings," said Ms Cham.

But the NTUC urged the Government to give adequate advance notice to members on any adjustment to the Basic Retirement Sum, and to ensure that there is transparency on how the adjustments are calculated.

"The Panel has suggested a schedule that ends in year 2020. We hope that if this is accepted by the Government, any adjustment to the Basic Retirement Sum thereafter will be given adequate advance notice to members, and that there is transparency on how the adjustments are calculated," said Ms Cham.

On the proposal to allow CPF members to make a lump sum withdrawal of up to 20 per cent when they reach their payout eligibility age, the NTUC suggested that the Government provide incentives to encourage members not to make the withdrawal and keep their retirement savings intact so that the amount of their monthly payouts will not be reduced.

While expressing support for the recommendations, the labour movement also reiterated its call for the Government to consider a set of CPF proposals it submitted earlier.

The labour movement has called on the Government to raise for the wage ceiling for CPF contributions, level up the total CPF contribution rates of workers who are more than 55 years old, and equalise the CPF contribution rates of mature workers, especially those aged above 50 up to 55, with the younger cohorts.