CPF ranks among the top 10 pension schemes in the world

PHOTO: CPF ranks among the top 10 pension schemes in the world

SINGAPORE - Singapore's Central Provident Fund (CPF) has been named one of the top 10 pension systems in the world.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index ranked Singapore seventh out of 20 countries, an improvement from last year's 13th out of 18 countries.

Singapore scored 66.5 overall, up from 54.8 last year. Denmark took first place with 80.2, while Indonesia, with 42, was last.

On a letter grade level, Singapore scored a "B" which is for a pension system with a "sound structure, with many good features, but has some areas for improvement".

Last year, the CPF scheme got a "C", meaning it "has some good features, but also has major risks or shortcomings that should be addressed".

The survey was carried out by consulting firm Mercer and the Australian Centre for Financial Studies, a non-profit group.

It is based on benchmarks set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to rate pension systems.

Mr Mark Juneau, Mercer's ASEAN retirement business leader, explained that Singapore's improved performance is due to a change in the way OECD measures retirement income. The OECD now looks at all accounts within the CPF to calculate retirement income, instead of focusing on the retirement account, as was the practice in previous years.

The report also made suggestions on how Singapore can improve its overall score. It said it should raise the minimum level of support available to the poorest members of society, encourage non-residents to save for their retirement by making it easier for companies to establish their own pension schemes and increase the labour force participation rate of older workers.

CPF Board deputy chief executive (corporate development group) Don Yeo said: "Mercer now better recognises the merits of Singapore's approach to help Singaporeans save for, not only retirement, but also health care and housing."


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