[Public Service Annoucement] Changes to the Retirement Act

November 25, 2011 at 11:23 am | Posted in But Seriously | Leave a comment

Disclaimer: As a PSA, I thought I’d share what I understand about the changes to the Retirement Act. This is my understanding, go read the Act yourself.

The new Retirement and Re-employment Act will come into effect on 1 Jan 2012, amending the old Retirement Act.

Note:

  • If you turn 62 before 1 Jan 2012, then the re-employment rules will not be applicable to you (laws are not usually retroactively applied/ it has got to do with how good laws do not apply backwards or something like that/ I hated jurisprudence so go ask someone else)
  • Current specified age is 62, can change

Presumption: you are medically fit for re-employment and your work is satisfactory, employer will have to prove that you are not capable of re-employment

So what are the changes?

  • Employer is obliged to re-employ you after you hit 62 (specified age) until you turn 65 (but this upper limit can changed by Manpower Minister)
  • Employer is deemed to comply if they let you keep working without a new contract of service
  • However, the employer can also enter a new contract of service, to vary the terms of the previous contract. Variations based on several factors including, your productivity, performance, duties, responsibilities and wage.
  • Also, if you enter the new contract, the previous contract is disregarded
  • If employer cannot reasonably re-employ you, then they have to give you employment assistance payments (EAP) to help you until you can find employment with another employer.
  • However, if you tell your employer you that you want to retire at 62, then he has no obligation to give you EAP

What does this all mean?

  • You’ll be working until 65 if you choose, otherwise you can enjoy retirement at 62
  • Your employer has to show that you “cannot make it” if they don’t want to re-employ you at 62
  • If your employer really cannot keep you on (downsizing, job too demanding for a 62 year old, etc) then they have to give you EAP, but you have to look for a new job (I don’t know how EAP will be calculated).

To TOC: CHECK YOUR FACTS

May 3, 2011 at 8:19 am | Posted in Misc | Leave a comment

TOC is a liar

All electors’ information are available on the electoral registry. There is no abuse of information, the register is public information if you are willing to purchase the register. Obviously TOC is not as fair or balanced as it claims.

NCMPs and NMPs

April 16, 2011 at 1:52 am | Posted in But Seriously | Leave a comment

There’s been talk about NCMPs so I thought I’d just share some information because there seems to be some confusion as to their powers.

39. — (1) Parliament shall consist of —
(a) such number of elected Members as is required to be returned at a general election by the constituencies prescribed by or under any law made by the Legislature;
(b) such other Members, not exceeding 9 in number, who shall be known as non-constituency Members, as the Legislature may provide in any law relating to Parliamentary elections to ensure the representation in Parliament of a minimum number of Members from a political party or parties not forming the Government; and
(c) such other Members not exceeding 9 in number, who shall be known as nominated Members, as may be appointed by the President in accordance with the provisions of the Fourth Schedule.
(2) A non-constituency Member or a nominated Member shall not vote in Parliament on any motion pertaining to —
(a) a Bill to amend the Constitution;
(b) a Supply Bill, Supplementary Supply Bill or Final Supply Bill;
(c) a Money Bill as defined in Article 68;
(d) a vote of no confidence in the Government; and
(e) removing the President from office under Article 22L.

25. —(1) The President shall appoint as Prime Minister a Member of Parliament who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the Members of Parliament, and shall, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint other Ministers from among the Members of Parliament:
Provided that, if an appointment is made while Parliament is dissolved, a person who was a Member of the last Parliament may be appointed but shall not continue to hold office after the first sitting of the next Parliament unless he is a Member thereof.

So what does this mean? Well… It means a NCMP can vote on all bills, save financial, constitutional, no confidence and presidential impeachment bills. They have full rights of members, including introduction of bills (save the four types they cannot vote in I think) and can also second bills. They can debate on bills, introduce motions/ amendments, and vote on them. It appears that they can be Ministers if the party of government chooses to include them (same can be said of NMPs) although practice so far has not seen a NMP or NCMP appointed minister. NCMPs and NMPs can be Prime Minister too it appears, although parliamentary practice has generally precluded that. They are counted as part of the Quorum. They also enjoy full rights under the Parliament (Privileges, Immunities and Powers) Act.

Just thought I’d share because there seems to be lots of misconceptions about the NCMP scheme.

6 years old…

April 14, 2011 at 12:27 am | Posted in Misc | Leave a comment

Wow. This blog is now 6 years old.

On Carrots and Upgrading

April 13, 2011 at 10:08 am | Posted in But Seriously | Leave a comment

I’ve been thinking long and hard about this whole issue for a long time, and I have come to some conclusions:

  1. Pork barrel politics will happen in any representative democracy. All politics is local and most residents care about municipal issues. Politics in the US is like that too; most people have a good opinion of their local representative but think the legislature sucks. This is largely because politicians bring home the bacon. If you had a representative who always talked about big national issues but never improved the local area, he’ll be out at the next election. Taken to the extreme, you get multi-million dollar bridges to connect 17 people to the mainland
  2. It makes perfect sense to talk about your plans for municipal improvements before the elections. It makes no sense to say “vote for me even though you have no idea what I will do for the locality.” The average voter will not vote for you at all. Upgrading the buildings in the estate is part and parcel of improving the local area, so offering it is part of electioneering, and makes sense.
  3. It is up to the local politician to try and fight for upgrading. It doesn’t just come because he’s a PAP politician. He has to bug HDB to look into it and to plan for it. He has to decided which precinct gets it, and has to fight for more precincts getting upgrading with HDB. A friend, formerly from HDB, told me that an opposition MP did not even submit the upgrading proposal. If he had, HDB would process the proposal and eventually offer upgrading. He just gave up because he thought that he had no chance. Instead he let PAP steal his thunder by obtaining some form of upgrading.

In my opinion, part of being an MP is to take care of local issues and upgrading the area is part of the job. Mr Goh Meng Seng noted on TV that there are no local issues in the area NSP wants to contest, only national ones, and that the Town Council was doing a good job. Before he forgets, town council boards are made up of political party members and MPs. The professional managers still take directions from the board, and MPs do feedback to them what areas need to be worked on. It’s part of the job.

Some MPs do this job better than others, and there is no denying that. Residents in an area will know if their MP is taking care of local business or not. I do agree that more can and should be done. I think the Opposition parties should also offer upgrading as part of their local election package. In know the opposition MPs do try to do some minor municipal works as well, but they should include it in their election package. Keep bugging HDB, keep disturbing LTA… Eventually they’ll get down to it. If they refuse, then at least you can say you tried real hard, but they are being obstructionist. It’s better than not trying at all.

As for myself… I promise to put my pens away and clear my dustbin daily.

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