State-sponsored retirement will impose heavy burden

Mr Paul Chan Poh Hoi highlighted how Norway has successfully used sovereign funds and strategic investments to fund pension schemes ("Role models for state-sponsored retirement exist"; Oct 3).

The Norwegian income tax rate is very high and the Norwegian sovereign funds have the North Sea oil and gas reserves as the foundation, thus the government has been able to sponsor retirement pensions, so far.

However, Singapore is a small, young nation without natural resources and without any hinterland, and is not part of any larger common market trading bloc.

Furthermore, Singapore has one of the best public housing in the world, with 80 per cent of the population residing in public housing, which can be downsized or monetised through reverse mortgage.

The Central Provident Fund is probably the best retirement savings scheme in the world.

Public housing is already a state subsidy, therefore, the Government should not further sponsor any form of retirement scheme.

State-sponsored retirement will impose a heavy burden on current and future generations.

It will also erode the work ethic and social values, and create an unfair and detrimental dependency on the state.

People should be responsible for their own decisions as to when and how they plan for their own retirement, or how they intend to live out an exciting and meaningful retirement.

Sum Kam Weng