“A few weeks ago, I met a friend who retired after a successful career. He now spends his time with his wife who was retrenched a year ago. The couple have 2 children and are looking forward to having grand children. He told me that retirement is the best part of his life which was “quite stressful” when he was climbing the corporate ladder.
He told me he found those articles that criticise retirement by calling retirees “time wasters”, “idlers” and “useless” very insulting because he feels they are directed at him asking him to give up the best part of his life.
The real tragedy is so many Singaporeans who have worked hard all their lives are forced to continue working when they are aged and employed in menial jobs for very low pay. The PAP govt is trying its best to deliver this (idea) “work until you die” future to ordinary Singaporeans by asking you to be “better, faster, cheaper”…. and “work forever”….
Many Singaporeans have no choice, under the PAP leadership, but to accept that most among us have to work until the day they die. This is something considered inhumane in other countries but is a policy goal of the PAP govt and the state controlled media goes all out to get us to accept it by telling us that it is a “waste to retire”, “retirement is idling”… and promote senior Lee’s notion that retirement means death. ( He says he will die if he stops working.)
The old folks that are working today were part of an obedient workforce that created the Singapore economic “miracle” in the 70s and 80s when Singapore’s economy grew rapidly and the workforce ranked number one in the world for more than two decades.
Today some members of this highly productive number one workforce have to continue working in their seventies as the PAP govt takes credit for Singapore’s economic success by paying its people in govt the highest salaries in the world and forgets the workforce that made all the sacrifices – a workforce that never went on strike, accepted long hours, worked the 3 shifts, took reduced benefits and CPF reductions to keep Singapore competitive.”
The truth is the govt is selling the “never retire” idea not so that you can have a happier life but to solve other problems. A large segment of the population work for low wages and will never be able to retire at a proper age and have to keep working until they are very old. The PAP govt has been extending the CPF withdrawal age forcing Singaporeans to work until an advanced age and locking up bigger sums by raising the minimum sum and through schemes like CPF Life.
As a principle, the PAP wants ordinary Singaporeans to shoulder all retirement responsibility themselves without govt help. In a socio-enomomic system that has the highest income gap among developed countries, many workers don’t even make enough to keep up with the rising cost of living let alone save for retirement. Unless the system changes, many will not have enough savings and CPF to ever retire.
Today, we see many aged cleaners, tissue paper sellers and old folks who struggle to get by collecting aluminium cans from bins, the sad thing is we see it so often and have gotten used to it.
Many don’t think about it until someone from China or Phillipines points it out to us …. a scene often repeated is one in which a tourist from China sits at one of our hawker centers to savor our local delights only to get a shock when a frail aged Singaporean comes by to clean the table – something he never expects to see in a first world country. He looks at his Singaporean friend for an answer but got this “what’s the big deal” look.
Many Singaporeans have no choice, under the PAP leadership, but to accept that most among us have to work until the day they die. Unquote