PAP group seeks hike in CPF contribution for those above 55
A group in the People's Action Party that champions elderly causes has called for recommendations on supporting seniors as they work, retire and live.
Among other things, the PAP Seniors Group (PAP.SG) - led by chairman Tan Chuan-Jin - is proposing that the Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rates for workers beyond the age of 55 be increased "so that all members continue to enjoy the same level of (contributions) regardless of how old they are".
While the rates for those aged 55 and below is 37 per cent, this number drops for workers older than 55 - ranging from 12.5 per cent to 26 per cent of wages. Employers also contribute a smaller proportion.
"With longer life expectancy and a smaller base of family support, Singaporeans need to be even more self-reliant in securing a stream of lifelong income for retirement," PAP.SG said in a paper released yesterday.
In the paper, which was submitted to the Government, the group said increasing CPF contribution rates for workers beyond 55 would help boost their retirement adequacy and ensure older workers are paid the same as younger colleagues for doing the same job.
A motion will be tabled on matters in the paper at the next Parliament sitting on Feb 11, said Mr Tan, who is also Speaker of Parliament. The Budget statement will be delivered by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Feb 18.
PAP.SG also called on employers and unions to facilitate and encourage flexible work arrangements. "While many of our older workers want to, and can continue to take on full-time jobs, some prefer to work at a lower intensity," the group said.
The paper proposed employers be given more help to manage the costs of hiring seniors.
On housing, PAP.SG suggested revising developmental guidelines for private sector developers who want to set up senior group homes that have assisted-living facilities.
There could be a separate land-use category for developers who want to build these homes so they are not competing with other forms of residences Nee Soon GRC MP Henry Kwek said at a press conference yesterday.
Former MP Chiang Hai Ding, a member of PAP.SG, said group homes can also be built in new or existing Housing Board blocks. Such homes already exist in some areas.
The paper added: "Moving forward, our seniors want more diverse housing options. Many seniors prefer to maintain their independence and age in place."
Other suggestions include providing an allowance for full-time caregivers like those caring for frail parents and encouraging exercise among seniors.