If you look at the report below, the Global Retirement Index put together by Natixis Global Asset Management, you will notice the absence in Singapore of the things that Norway and Australia did so well – government benefits and employment or workplace pensions.
It is especially poignant in the Norwegian example because its is publicly funded unlike Australia which is mostly privately funded. In Norway funding is supplemented by tapping up 100% of the inflation adjusted returns from GPF. It can be said that Norwegians have a direct benefit from GPF’s investments.
We in Singapore have GIC and Temasek, nearly comparable to GPF. Therefore there is no reason for retirement inadequacy except that our government only tapped 50% of the inflation-adjusted returns of GIC and Temasek (plus MAS). Furthermore the funds are not used directly for funding retirement and healthcare but spent at the entire discretion of the government.
In order to improve our retirement proposition, the government should follow the leaders. First re-design the pension system to allow the flexibility of private workplace pensions like in Australia. Second link the Net Investment Return Contribution, i.e. the constitutional rule permitting spending of the earnings from reserves, directly to the provision of state pensions and healthcare. Make those reserves work directly for the benefit of the people.
Then Singapore can climb the ranking. As it is now, the Number 25 ranking is poor in relation GDP per capita – like the old saying “Nice from far, but far from nice”.