Academic warns Singapore must overhaul CPF

Tinkering with the Central Provident FundÆs parameters wonÆt be enough to meet SingaporeÆs social security goals.

The Singaporean government must stop its implicit taxation of its citizens through the Central Provident Fund CPF and give more weight to its fiduciary responsibility to them if Singapore is to sufficiently provide for its aged, says Mukul Asher, professor of public policy at National University of Singapore. He estimates that by 1998, the average balance members could withdraw upon retirement had declined to the equivalent of a mere 10 months wages.

The table below illustrates this problem. Asher calculates the average monthly wage for a Singaporean, both including the CPF contribution and without, and the estimated lump sum that members will withdraw from CPF upon retirement. The problem is especially acute for women...

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