Retirement is the hot topic in rally feedback

Retirement is the hot topic in rally feedback
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’ greets Madam Wong Ah Woon, 87, at her seat after his National Day Rally speech on 17 August 2014.

THE bulk of public feedback gathered by government unit Reach since Sunday's National Day Rally has centred on issues related to retirement.

There were 530 contributions on platforms such as the Reach microsite, discussing announcements like the extension of the Lease Buyback Scheme to four-room Housing Board flats, and the option for retirees above 65 to withdraw a lump sum from their Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings.

People also wrote in about the new moves to help the less academically inclined achieve their potential, and the proposed municipal services office to streamline work processes between agencies, Reach said yesterday.

Unit chairman Amy Khor said: "Singaporeans have largely responded positively to the National Day Rally, saying that it was an uplifting, heart-warming and caring message, which resonated with different segments of the population.

"They appreciated the PM taking pains to explain the mechanics and rationale of the CPF scheme and Minimum Sum to them as well as him paying tribute to the work and contributions of our pioneer generation."

Such issues also came up yesterday, during a moderated 1½-hour Facebook public chat between Dr Khor - also the Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower - and 130 participants.

Many asked how a shift away from a "paper chase" mentality could be effected.

Dr Khor said: "I think everyone has to be involved - individuals, parents, employers, government...

The Government must walk the talk, take the lead, and change its human resource policies."

On retirement adequacy, Dr Khor was "pleasantly surprised" that a fair number who gave feedback said care should be taken with moves to allow more flexibility for CPF withdrawals after age 65, as there was a risk of people depleting their savings.

They wanted more done to make sure people understood the implications of such withdrawals.

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