A study led by A/P Ng Koe Hoe from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) sought to obtain an estimation on the minimum amount of money required by older people in order for them to achieve a basic standard of living here.
This budget is comprehensive and is meant to allow an elderly to achieve a comfortable quality of life. Apart from the usual necessities like food, accommodation and transport, it also covers additional luxuries such as holidays, gifts for social gatherings, and mobile phones.
With these considerations, the study found that for those age from 55 to 64, they require $1,720, while those aged above 65 requires less, at $1380.
How many of our elderly can enjoy such a lifestyle now, and in the future?
Taking into account inflation, these monthly expected expenditure can amount to more in the future.
Even now, there are segments of our society, including those in their 30s, who do not have a net income of $1,720. There are couples whose net income are below $1,720 because they are in part-time employment and have children to feed and send to school.
How can they save for now and for the future to ensure that they do not merely exist then, but have a certain standard of life?
The government must step in to ensure that they are not left behind.
One way they can do that is to enable CPF to be be more accessible to the owners.
There have been instances of reckless spending of the CPF money upon retirement, in the past. But not everyone is like that and the majority shouldn't have to suffer for the recklessness of a few.
Another way to help Singaporeans prepare for the old age is to have minimum wage across the lowest paying industries. Some sectors are doing this progressively but it is not adequate if you want lower-income Singaporeans to save for the future.
The start to a comfortable old age begins now and the government has the responsibility to ensure that no Singaporeans are fall through the social safety nets.