28 May 2014

Home-Makers — Who Should Provide For Them?

Association of Women for Action and Research ("AWARE") opined that the State should give adequate social assistance that meets the needs of all Singaporeans throughout their lives, not just when they are employed[1].
Meeting the needs of economically vulnerable groups should be the prime objective of a retirement scheme such as the Central Provident Fund ("CPF") Minimum Sum Scheme.
In particular, AWARE says that the State should address the needs of full-time home-makers, who are mostly women, who do not have much in their CPF accounts because CPF moneys are mostly derived from their employment. More elderly females than men need to use their family members' Medisave accounts to pay their hospital bills.

26 May 2014

MediShield Life Should Not Be Pre-Funded Part II

This is the second part. Part I may be found [here]

Computational Complexities
With MediShield, CPF Board determines the premiums for each age cohort based on actual hospitalisation experience, and it adjusts the premiums from time to time. Similarly, the insurers offering the Integrated Shield plans base their premiums on actual hospitalisation experience, and adjust the premiums from time to time.

With pre-funding, CPF Board will have to determine not only the premiums for each cohort but also the forecast hospitalisation incidence and costs, and life expectancy. Based on these estimates, CPF Board then has to determine the cross-over age (the age at which each cohort stops pre-funding and starts drawing down on the pre-funded premium).

22 May 2014

MediShield Life Should Not Be Pre-Funded Part I

It appears that the Government is very keen that MediShield Life premiums should be pre-funded.

The Government's Rationale
The premium that a person pays for hospitalisation insurance, such as MediShield, MediShield Life or the Integrated Shield plans, increases as he grows older because the statistical probability of his being hospitalised increases.

The Government says that when we are young and employed and earning a good income, we can afford to pay more so that when we are old, we don't have to pay as much as what we would have to pay if we didn't pre-fund.

In other words, the young should set aside some money in MediShield Life as a form of savings and use this money later on in life to help reduce their premiums.

Hence, we should pre-fund our MediShield Life premium, the Government says.

Let's see why MediShield Life should NOT be pre-funded.

06 May 2014

Singapore Should Not Co-Host 2019 Asian Games

Vietnam announced last month that it would not be hosting the 2019 Asian Games due to its lack of preparedness and costs, estimated at US$500 million.

The Asian Games, which were held for the first time in 1951, have grown to consist of around 40 sports with 10,000 athletes from 45 countries taking part. Host nations are put under tremendous pressure to build infrastructure and accommodation to stage the world's second largest multi-sport event.

Singapore National Olympic Council ("SNOC") vice-president Ng Ser Miang said on 18 April that Singapore was not interested in bidding to take over as hosts.

02 May 2014

Singapore Snippets April 2014

Talking Point — Is Singapore Too Expensive For Middle Income Singaporeans, Channel News Asia 2 April 2014

In the absence of an official definition of the middle income, moderator Steven Chia started by using households falling within the 30th (or more correctly, the 31st) and 70th percentiles as a working definition.

Seemingly ignoring Mr Chia, panelist SIM University Associate Professor Randolph Tan chose to use his own definition — the three middle quintiles i.e., those falling within the 21st and 80th percentiles.

In any discussion, participants must agree on common definitions or otherwise follow the lead of the moderator.

In any case, Assoc Prof Tan's definition of middle income is too wide.