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Published: Wednesday February 12, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday February 12, 2014 MYT 11:01:47 AM

CPF rates for older workers 'may go up'

Older Singaporean workers face the pleasant prospect of seeing a rise in their Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions.

The labour movement has called on the government to raise the CPF rates of those aged above 50 to 55 so that they are on par with younger workers.

But it need not be done “in one go”, said labour chief Lim Swee Say, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Union leaders, he said, are not pushing for the 3.5% gap to be closed “in one go, because we do understand it should be done progressively”, he told reporters after an official visit to restaurant chain Eighteen Chefs.

The CPF rate of these older workers is 32.5% compared to 36% for younger workers.

It had been cut in 2003, along with other tweaks to the CPF scheme, when Singapore suffered a recession because of Sars.

But during Budget 2012, it was partially restored to the current level.

At the same time, the Government had promised to give this group the same CPF contributions as younger workers.

“However, we cannot make this major move in one step,” Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is also the Finance Minister, had said then.

On Monday, Lim gave a broad hint that another step towards parity could be taken as early as next week, on Budget Day.

Tharman is scheduled to present the national Budget in Parliament on Feb 21 and Lim said these older workers hope to hear “some good news from the Finance Minister”.

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is also expected to make known this week its plans to push for CPF rates to be tweaked to help Singaporeans save for medical and other financial commitments in their old age. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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