SINGAPORE - More will be done to reach out to low-wage earners to educate them about the Central Provident Fund (CPF).
This was the assurance given by Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, chairman of the CPF Advisory Panel, yesterday after the first public focus group discussion on the CPF system.
There was a diversity of views from the 50 or so who attended the discussion at *Scape in Orchard Road - many wanted monthly payouts to increase as they got older to cope with inflation; others wanted a bigger sum earlier on.
But most agreed that the CPF system needed to be simplified so that it would be easier to understand, especially by those lower on the wage ladder.
Ms K. Thanaletchimi, a 48-year-old senior assistant manager at the National University Hospital, who represented the Healthcare Services Employees' Union at the discussion, said many of the lower-wage workers she encountered had only a vague understanding of how the CPF scheme worked.
Under the current system, CPF members who set aside a minimum sum of $155,000 at 55 years old will get a monthly payout of about $1,200 when they turn 65.
"But many don't understand how the CPF scheme works, or what the payout is about. All they know is that there are employee and employer contributions," she said. "It is important to have a scheme that everyone can understand."
Mr Daniel Yap, 35, who runs a public relations agency, shared the same view and said: "What struck me at this focus group was that people have such different ideas of what the CPF is."
He also believes more should be done to hear from the lower-wage group. "They may not have strong or robust views, but they are an important part of our society and we need to ensure they have enough for their retirement needs."