Old-age income insecurity in Singapore

a problem of non-inclusive development

Pundarik Mukhopadhaya, Sunil Venaik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


With a growing old-age population, ensuring income security for the elderly is becoming an increasingly important element of public policy worldwide. The World Bank report proposed a three-tier system to avert old-age crisis, which was extended into a five-tier system by Holzmann etal. Our analysis of Singapore's old-age income security system in light of these two systems shows that it lacks the basic zero and first pillars of protection against old-age hardships. We show that a budget allocation of less than half a percent of national gross domestic product (GDP) can ensure that no elderly citizen suffers from poverty in Singapore. As Singapore occupies the status of a developed country, a government-financed pension system that is adequate, affordable, sustainable and robust is long overdue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-206
Number of pages23
JournalAustralian Economic Papers
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014

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