And neither are employers embracing call to restore CPF...

Just because it's not 'a', it is not necessary 'b'. It could be 'c', 'd', and so on and so forth till 'z'.

Singapore's labour chief is happy employers are not rejecting NTUC's proposal to restore their portion of the Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions in view of the improving economy.

Speaking to MediaCorp, NTUC Secretary General Lim Swee Say said he is confident the government will consider the views of both employers and unions when coming to a decision.

The Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) had urged the government to take a cautious approach when responding to the National Trades Union Congress' (NTUC's) call for the CPF restoration.

The total CPF contribution rate now stands at 34.5 per cent, with employers contributing 14.5 per cent and employees 20 per cent.

The government had announced in 2003 that the long term-range of CPF contributions would be in the range of 30 to 36 per cent, moving away from the previous 40 per cent contribution rate.

Mr Lim said: "In any downturn when there is a need to cut the CPF, the labour movement is always upfront together with the employers and the government to mobilise the ground, to support a CPF cut.

"At the same time, when the economy is doing well, when the overall climate is positive, the labour movement will not shy away from calling for a restoration.

"At a time like this, when the unemployment is low and the rebound is strong, we really hope that employers would do their part as well, and help to understand and recognise the contributions of the labour force during the downturn.

"And at a time like this when the wage pressure is going to be higher this year, it is important for us to reward workers fairly for their performance, for the better performance of their businesses.

"And secondly, in the process of rewarding, we must keep our wage systems flexible. Not all rewards should go into built-in wages, but some of these should be in the form of bonuses.

"And thirdly, we must also enhance our savings for the long term. With longer life expectancy, workers in time to come when they retire, they need to have more savings in the CPF.

"So if you bear this in mind, we hope that the employers ... firstly will understand why the labour movement is calling for a restoration at a time like this, and secondly more of them will come forward to support."

He continued: "Yes, we agree that the increase should be gradual. The labour movement did not call for a one-step restoration."

From Channel NewsAsia, "Employers not rejecting call to restore CPF, says labour chief".


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