Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

CPF: Not Just Your Money

DSC09177According to Nominated MP Chia Yong Yong, because the individual isn’t the only person contributing to their CPF accounts, but some monies are contributed from employers and the occasional top-ups from public funds, we don’t get to decide how we spend it. Perhaps we should now reconsider if the interests earned in our CPF accounts actually belong to us.

I’m sometimes shocked by the nonsense that gets spouted in parliament. We talk about wanting a first-world parliament with first-world quality debates. Sadly, I see it becoming like a never-ending TV drama. But nothing like Days of our Lives.

According to Ms Chia:

Because I am not the only person contributing to that fund, I cannot be the only person to call the shots as to who I’m going to spend it.

Now, I’m all for prudent spending of our CPF monies. At the same time, Singaporeans want more flexibility in the use of their CPF monies. These are not orthogonal goals. There is room to strike a balance. I cannot understand why Ms Chia would just brush off such a recommendation.

I’m gravely offended at the suggestion that the CPF monies are not wholly ours because there are third party contributions to it. I believe that the monies in our CPF accounts are, in fact, entirely and wholly ours. If this is incorrect, I sincerely hope our government can give us some clarity on this matter.

When our employers contribute monies into our CPF account, we consider the monies now belonging to us. That’s why it is called a contribution eh?

When the government occasionally gives us a small little top-up, the monies become ours. That’s why it’s a top-up eh?

Otherwise, the employer contributions and government top-ups might as well be called loans.

Don’t we all already consider CPF contributions, both employer’s and employee’s, in our pay packages? They are forced savings. The money belongs to us. I fail to understand why Ms Chia should feel such third party contributions are a factor in determining who calls the shots.

The only reason why we can’t call the shots is because this forced savings is subject to rules made by the government (or parliament). But make no mistake that the CPF monies are entirely ours.

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