|Singapore Prime Minister's salary 1965-2011|
In a desperate attempt to explain the PAP’s pension scheme for its retired ministers which has been making waves in cyberspace, DPM Teo Chee Hean unwittingly revealed the shocking fact that PAP ministers start collect their multi-million dollar pension at the age of 55, even if they still remain in office.
Under the Parliamentary Pensions Act (PPA), political office-holders ranging from parliamentary secretaries to the Prime Minister, including the Speaker of Parliament, are eligible to receive pensions from the state, as long as they have served for a minimum of eight years and are at least aged 50 when they step down.
For every completed year of service, the annual pension amount is raised by 1/27 of the ‘pensionable component’ of his salary. The final ratio, however, must not exceed two-thirds. This means that after 18 years of service, the final ratio used to compute a minister’s pension stops increasing, the Straits Times reported.
Before 1982, office-holders had to step down before they could begin receiving pensions. However, for some strange reasons, it was amended that year to allow office-holders to begin collecting at 55, even if they were still holding office.
This means that there are at least 7 PAP ministers who are still receiving pensions from the state on top of their annual multi-million dollar pay package – MM Lee Kuan Yew, SM Goh Chok Tong, PM Lee Hsien Loong, DPM Wong Kan Seng, Minister in PMO Lim Swee Say and DPM Teo Chee Hean himself.
Former Foreign Minister George Yeo, who is 57 year old this year, has been receiving pension for the last 2 days and for the rest of his life.
The state pension scheme applies only to PAP ministers and senior office-holders and has long been scrapped for the ordinary rank-and-file civil servants.