chapter  5
20 Pages

Population Ageing in Singapore: The Challenge of Using the Central Provident Fund for Retirement Needs

WithTee Liang Ngiam

Singapore offers an interesting example of social development in a country where people are its only natural resources, where its main livelihood stems from competing in the global economy, and which is facing a greying population. Singapore may be a first-world country in economic terms, but it is not, as a matter of deliberate government policy, a welfare state. Yet the republic has one of the fastest-ageing populations in Asia. Both employers and employees contribute to the Fund, which is guaranteed by the Singapore government and managed by a statutory Central Provident Fund Board. Contribution rates vary according to the employee's age, a younger worker having higher rates than an older worker. The minimum sum scheme allows the CPF members' property to be pledged up to a predetermined limit in lieu of cash in the Retirement Account, the reasoning being that the property can be sold off to make up for the shortfall in cash if necessary.