Raise CPF pay-outs to low-wage workers: Lim Chong Yah

SINGAPORE — Former National Wages Council (NWC) chairman Lim Chong Yah has suggested to the NWC to consider getting companies to increase their Central Provident Fund (CPF) pay-outs to low-wage workers.

Instead of a national minimum wage, this could be used to raise pay across the board for low-income employees, he said.

Emeritus Professor Lim was speaking to reporters at the launch of his latest book, Singapore’s National Wages Council – An Insider’s View.

He said: “When NWC wanted a comprehensive nationwide implementation of its recommendations — be they wage increases or wage cuts — it would incorporate a compulsory element in the NWC recommendation. This normally took the form of a compulsory CPF increase or CPF cut.”

He added that a five per cent increase would be a good figure, but the issue must be debated in the NWC.

In light of Singapore’ labour shortage, Mr Lim said that his book records the attempt by the NWC to extend the then retirement age of 55 to 60 and beyond.

He also recommended that the NWC revisits this method of increasing more local labour supply by extending the retirement age.

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