I empathise with the widow whose late husband bequeathed his Central Provident Fund savings to a woman from China ("Widow loses fight over husband's CPF bequest to another woman"; Thursday).
Issues of inheritance can often be painfully contentious, especially when extramarital relations are involved, and turning to the law may not be the most effective solution.
While CPF members are free to nominate whoever they want to bequeath their savings to, the officers handling these cases should have the responsibility of reminding them to exercise discretion.
The CPF is not just the nest egg of a person or family, but also the social security of the entire nation.
There needs to be greater regulatory intervention to ensure that CPF funds are allocated as judiciously as possible to deserving dependants within Singapore.
CPF members who want to leave their savings to non-related nominees, particularly foreigners, should be subject to more vigorous scrutiny by the CPF Board. The financial status and history of the family and dependants should also be assessed.
As Singapore's population ages, the challenges facing our social security will increasingly take centre stage. It is no longer about how we build our nest eggs but about how we use them or bequeath them. This may no longer be a private affair.
Liew Kai Khiun
This article was first published on December 6, 2014.
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