chapter  5
17 Pages

Is there enough? Financing old age

This chapter discusses issues concerning the financing of old age support through the informal and formal sectors. Financial well-being in old age is critically important to the ability to access health care and other necessities, not to mention disposable income. Under the rubric of ‘productive ageing’, older adults are encouraged to work to maintain financial independence. If work is not the option or preferred choice, they rely on the government’s formal social security programme, the Central Provident Fund (CPF) and/or familial support. As only one-third of the current generation of older adults is covered by the CPF and a further small proportion by pension schemes inherited from colonial rule, the family remains the primary support provider (Chan et al. 1999). Given the reality of smaller family sizes and increasing longevity, there are fewer family members available to provide support but older members of society are requiring more years of it. Consequently, the Singapore government has to grapple with instituting the ‘right’ mix of formal and informal schemes in order to provide for older Singaporeans.