The People’s Action Party (PAP) Women’s Wing has urged the Government and families to do more to help stay-home mothers who will have little Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings of their own to draw on during their retirement years.
The call was contained in a 10-point response to recent Government announcements that was endorsed by members at a special meeting held on Saturday (Feb 28) at PAP headquarters ahead of International Women’s Day and the Budget Debate.
“For stay-home mothers, we are especially concerned that they do not get to benefit from the CPF system. As they do not receive formal payment and CPF contributions for their care-giving, they do not enjoy the attractive interest rates paid on CPF balances and the positive effects of interest compounding,” the PAP Women’s Wing said in a statement.
“A sensible approach is for their husbands to make regular voluntary top-ups to their CPF accounts; likewise for their adult working children. We urge the Government to raise awareness of the benefits of such top-ups and the availability of GIRO transfer options,” the statement added.
The PAP Women’s Wing also asked the Government to make special efforts to help stay-home mothers take advantage of SkillsFuture initiatives, so that they can keep their skills updated and remain employable should they decide to return to the workforce.
For example, there can be more e-learning options that will allow stay-home mothers to access training from home.
The Government could consider allowing husbands and children to make partial transfers of their unused SkillsFuture Credits to give more support to stay-home mothers who want to pursue training, the PAP Women’s Wing added.
SkillsFuture is a national effort aimed at making it easier for students and workers to gain skills and continually improve on them during the working lives.
Chair of the PAP Women’s Wing Grace Fu, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, said many of the home-makers had found it difficult to return to the workforce and therefore could not build up their own CPF savings.
“The SkillsFuture initiatives open up new opportunities for stay-home mums to access training. This was not possible before, but in future, it should become easier for women who take a break to care for their families to get back to work,” she said.
Ms Fu had helmed the PAP Women’s Wing with Vice-Chairs Josephine Teo and Dr Amy Khor and District Advisor Jessica Tan. Around 80 women activists from various PAP branches attended the meeting.