Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Happiness Index Survey for Singaporeans

It was another typical evening after work, nestling at home watching the 7 o’clock TV serial with family, while waiting for dinner. The doorbell rang!. It was a surprise, as we were not expecting anyone. My little ones opened the door, and we saw a man in his 20s holding an iPad. He greeted us and requested for 10 minutes of my time for a survey

It was dinner time, but I was touched by his sincerity and politeness and accede to his request.  The survey was done by a third party independent company engaged by the authorities. It required a Singaporean citizen above the age of 16 and was conducted to collate more information regarding the Happiness Index of Singaporeans.

The questions comprised mostly of answers from a scale of 1 to 10 as well as yes and no types of answers. Personal details were also entered into the iPad, includes age, sex, race, religion, marital status, education, personal and household income, number of family members, contact details etc.

It does not take a genius to tell that the occurrence of this survey and many recent government reports of CPF, were a direct consequence of blogger Roy Ngerng’s infamous CPF blog post. While the blog post invited lawsuit from our Prime Minister, it is also for reasons like this that it coerced our government to put more attention into the topic of retirement and CPF. And of course we know that “Election” is not far away too!. 

Meanwhile to the best of my memory, below are some of the important issues addressed today by the Surveyor.

Happiness. How happy am I now, comparing to five years ago, and five years from now (predict)? How satisfied am I now with my job, comparing to five years ago, and five years from now (predict)?

Public Housing, Transport, Healthcare. Do you think the affordability of housing, healthcare or transport will rise, fall or stay the same five years from now? Views on the Quality of public housing, transport and healthcare? 

Personal Finance. Did you borrow any money to finance your daily expenses in the last five years?

Tax. Do you mind paying more income tax, if that means more money for the needy?

Legal systems, Police, Civil Defence. How confident are we on these systems? Our Knowledge on Total Defence?

Patriotism. Are you proud to be a Singaporean? Are you willing to give my 100% to help the nation? Do you have any emigration intention in future?

Immigration policy. For or against? Quality of immigrants. Have it improved compared to five years ago?

Religion. How important is religion to you?

Retirement planningHow well do you know about CPF? For instance, what is the amount of minimum sum and at what age etc? 

If there are three things you wish to change on the current CPF scheme, what will it be? My wife interrupted "higher Interest rates!"

What 3 things do you wish to change on the current CPF scheme? 

Are you happy now compared to five years ago? 


  1. Hi Rolf

    If CPF interests is adjusted higher than current, it would make it an interesting "investment" over other tools such as stocks and properties. I would top my CPF up to the max if they can offer higher by 1 percentage point.

  2. Hi B,
    I have to agree with you. From a financial point of view, the current rates of 5% per annum earned on the first $40,000 for SMA is already very attractive return. Additional 1% will be 6% return, close to the average yield of SReits and yet risk free! The ultimate question from most of my peers is, are we having control on our own CPF or is it just paper form subject to ever changing rules?

    Thanks, Rolf