Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Government Slave

It has been a month since I last blogged. Actually, I wrote a few entries but decided not to post it. These are matters (mainly complaints) that may offend other people so nah... I decided not to.

Anyway, a few things have been on my mind for the past month. The first is my youngest brother upcoming wedding at the end of the month. Loads of things to do and prepare. So little time.

The next is the Government's option for its employees to opt for the Pension scheme instead of KWSP. The dateline is next Monday, I have to make a decision.

I think I am almost 95% certain of my decision. After I signed for KWSP only I realise the implications of it. I remember at that time, the clerk in-charge was so happy to persuade us to sign for the KWSP option, and being naive I did so. Later did I found out that opting for the pension causes less paperwork for the clerk, duh. Anyway, at that time I was concerned with whether I would stay with the Government for life. I was actually worried if I was pushed around here and there at the whims and fancy of some clerks (really, KKM is run by clerks who have no sympathy for people) and also if I don't like the office politics. That may push me to resign and thus 'nil' savings if I was in the pension scheme.

What have changed since then? Nothing much really. The concerns are still there but I am looking at a different perspective. Right now I am more concerned about long term health care. At the age of 56 (when I retire) I would have no health benefits if I am still under the KWSP scheme. If I needed a bypass or and angiogram (touch wood) in IJN perhaps, I would need to raise RM20000 for the surgery. That is provided I do not have any other complications. If I do, I am sure that would cause a serious dent in my savings and I may not enough funds for my retirement plans.

This is not just me but my family too, my husband and our future children. Aging people have more degenerative problems and diseases, it is fine to say now 'I AM HEALTHY' but we definitely do not know what is in the future. An unhealthy person is not just a liability in terms of health costs, they are usually not productive and thus, the disruption of their employment plans and cash flow.

It is a fact that healthcare is an expensive affair and it will be more so in the future as this country goes into managed healthcare. No amount of insurance can cover you for every eventualities - every coverage has its limits.

Anyway, the monthly pension is not really a deciding factor. As doctors, working after the pensionable age is very feasible (provided I am not senile) and thus I am sure I can find a job so not that worrisome. And, would I leave government service now or in the future? I guess maybe not; I enjoy my work, I am too lazy to suck up to patients, I love the 35 days leave I have per year and I am not a businesswoman.

I guess I would not have these thoughts if I married a fellow government servant (with the appropriate retirement plans i.e pension scheme). Hmmmm, perhaps should advise people looking for a future spouse to ask the questions "Kerja Gomen ke????" and then if positive "Pencen ke, KWSP??". Only after that proceed with the courting...