how do the CPF changes affect you?
August 23, 2007 4:12am CST
For a good half of a century, our government has done really well for our country men. Creating ample job opportunities for its people and foreigners alike, so that majority of the country has a job to sustain themselves. Building somewhat affordable homes so that majority of the population has a roof over its head. Having a CPF scheme to ensure people are saving for that rainy day, and their retirement... a scheme much similar to the 401k plan in the US, but different. This monies in the CPF is allowed to be used for housing as well as some hospitalization payments. This has protected its citizens well as many who do not plan for their retirement, has something to fall back on when they retire. Or when the need to foot huge medical expenses, the CPF is there to cushion the pain of forking out thousands to settle the bill. In recent years, there have been much changes to the CPF scheme. Drawdown age has been shifted over and over again to reflect the ever-aging population. The latest NDR has announce that come Jan 1, it is compulsory for all who are below 50 to buy annuities. For most people, annuities provide a reliable flow of income or a financial cushion for unexpected expenses during retirement. However, life changes – and so do each person's wants and needs. Some find that retirement just isn't for them, so having a steady stream of monthly payments isn't necessary. Others adjust their estate planning strategy and find that an annuity doesn't fit into that plan -- there are better uses for their capital or they simply choose to diversify their investments. But to force people to buy annuities, regardless of whether they need them or not, that is another story altogether! I am really looking forward to see the details for this annuity plan that is going to be rolled out come Jan 1. How do you feel about the changes announced? What comments do you have about the upcoming changes to the CPF? Do you think it is fair to make everyone buy an annuity? What alternatives do you suggest?