We also know that current older workers are paid low wages, with two-thirds employed as cleaners, labourers and related workers, and categorised in the three lowest-paying occupational categories. They are paid less than the sum required for a basic standard of living, if we take $1,379 as the benchmark.‘Helping the elderly thrive is good for Singapore as a community‘ by Kanwaljit Soin (The Straits Times, 4 June 2019)
Needy Singapore citizens and permanent residents who are unable to work due to old age, illness, disability or unfavourable family circumstances, have been recipients of what is known as the Public Assistance Scheme and now called the ComCare Long-Term Assistance scheme.
The sum given per month for many years was about $500 and below, and finally increased to $600 per person this year, with two-person households getting $1,000.
Looking at CPF and retirement schemes shows there are real shortfalls in achieving the MIS through these routes.
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo revealed in Parliament in February that nearly three-quarters of those getting monthly payouts from the CPF Life Scheme or Retirement Sum Scheme receive less than $500 a month, while average monthly payouts for those between 70 and 79 was just $290.
Only 268,000 people were receiving these payments. The number of people over 65 is more than half a million, and so the remainder was left out of these two schemes.
There were also several reports on the weekend:
- ‘$1,379 a month for retirement in Singapore: Too much or too little?‘ by Yuen Sin (The Straits Times, 2 June 2019)
- ‘Worries over retirement income‘ by Tan Ee Lyn (The Straits Times, 2 June 2019)