THE announcement by Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam of the old-age and self-employed pension scheme “Two new pension schemes” (The Star, March 14) is in consonance with spiritual and moral principles of the caring concept whilst meeting the social needs of millions of self-employed people and private sector employees.
If the scheme is introduced, it would be a huge relief to more than 95% of the people who are said to be unable to prepare for retirement. Almost everyone, including those who earn more than the average income, use up their earnings for the immediate needs of themselves and their families, thus leaving almost nothing for their post-retirement life.
Even with compulsory savings in EPF, it is found that about 90% have less than RM100,000. And again, it is said that most EPF contributors spend their savings within three years of retirement.
No matter what financial plans we introduce, the majority of the people cannot, on their own, maintain huge savings that would take care of them during their retirement. They eventually have to live on hand-outs or work till they die.
Most old people can no longer depend on their children to give them money on a regular basis as the family structure is fast changing, and working children too have commitments and needs that take away a bulk of their income.
In most cases, even graduates who earn about RM1,800 a month find it is hardly enough for themselves.
A pension scheme which provides monthly payments would be an appropriate alternative to ensure that the welfare of retirees is taken care of, just like the civil servants.
We can see much dignity and independence in a government pensioner while private sector retirees are almost always seen spending the rest of their lives doing odd jobs.
If both people have worked throughout their lives, why should the other be neglected and made to live in anxiety the rest of his life.
Both have contributed the best part of their lives to society, and it should be the moral duty of society to reciprocate fairly and benevolently to ensure the welfare of everyone is taken care of.