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FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Inclusion of non-residents could boost Singapore's CPF pension scheme: study

They comprise a third of Singapore's labour force.

A study by Mercer showed that Singapore's pension scheme with the Central Provident Fund (CPF) could be improved by including non-residents who comprise a third of the labour force.

According to the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index, Singapore's score climbed up by 2.4 points from 2016, ranking highest amongst its peers in Asia.

The Lion City scored 65.2 in terms of adequacy, 66.2 in sustainability, and 80.7 in integrity. Last year, Singapore scored 67.0 overall.

Garry Hawker, Mercer’s Asia zone wealth business coordinator, director of strategic research, Growth Markets, said, "The overall index value for the Singaporean system could be further increased by reducing the barriers to establishing tax-approved group corporate retirement plans; opening CPF to non-residents who comprise more than one-third of the labour force; and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise."

Mercer said, under the CPF, some benefits are available to be withdrawn at any time for specified housing and medical expenses with other benefits preserved for retirement. A prescribed minimum amount is required to be drawn down at retirement age in the form of a lifetime income stream.

The Singapore government implemented changes to the CPF in 2016, which include providing minimum pension top-up amounts for the poorest individuals, more flexibility in drawing down retirement pension amounts and increases to certain contribution rates and interest guarantees.

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