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New Cut-off Age For CPF Contribution Rates?

09 Dec 2011


Immigration News

With 50 the new 40, the labour movement is proposing that the cut to the Central Provident Fund contribution rates of workers - currently done when they turn 50 - be pushed back further.

This was one of the topics raised during the three-day National Delegates Conference, said National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) secretary-general Lim Swee Say at a media briefing yesterday.

"To start the CPF cut at the age of 50, we think is too early given that we're living longer, working longer and need to save more for our post-retirement," said Mr. Lim.

As such, it is proposing to its tripartite partners to consider "shifting the curve progressively to the right". "We want to have a consensus with our tripartite partners that 50 is the new 40 and, therefore, too early to effect a CPF cut and, therefore, we have to find some way to push it back," said Mr Lim.

What this new cut-off age should be and how fast this should be implemented is up for discussion, he noted.

As for the labour movement's 2015 vision - "Better Jobs for All, Labour Movement for All and Tripartism for All" - the NTUC will not adopt a "big bang" approach but a "series of action plans" for PMES, casual and contract workers, low wage workers and the re-employment of mature workers, he said.

Mr Lim reiterated that the labour movement will work with its tripartite partners to power broad-based growth across the economy, improving productivity and gains-sharing as that will result in real-wage increases for workers.

He noted that some sectors remained "stuck in a Third World Singapore" and workers in those sectors could not enjoy real wage increases.

However, he acknowledged there are doubts as to whether companies will focus on productivity and said that "leadership on productivity gain must come from management".

Mr Lim called on more concerted effort from the tripartite to strengthen the core of weak or stagnant sectors like construction, and further strengthen strong sectors of the economy through up-skilling.

The Singapore core as defined by Mr Lim consists of 2 million Singaporeans and permanent resident workers, and will be "reinforced rather than be replaced" by some one million global manpower here.

Said Mr Lim: "We do not want to see Singaporeans playing a peripheral role in our economy. We want them to be the core and instil pride in them."

Going forward, as part of leadership renewal, the labour movement has put in place a 3-Flow system to induct and nurture new union leaders.

As leaders "Flow On", they will still play an important role serving as mentors and advisers in sharing their experience and wisdom with younger leaders, and still serve the labour movement in different ways.


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