The best pension system in Asia: Really?


Looking deeper into why CPF is the best pension system in  Asia?

I refer to the article “Singapore has best pension system in Asia: Mercer index” (Straits Times, Oct 23).

It states that “Singapore topped Asia in providing adequate and sustainable income for retirement but there is room for improvement, said pension expert Mercer on Monday (Oct 23).”

As to “Austria, Italy and France are examples of developed economies whose pension systems do not represent a sustainable model that will support current and future generations in their old age” –

Comment on “Sustainability”:

Government does not spend a single cent?

Are we the only country in the study that from a cashflow perspective – does not spend a single cent on the CPF system, as all contributions are from the incomes of CPF members, and the CPF inflows exceed the  outflows every year?

With regard to “The 2017 Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index, which looked at 30 countries covering 60 per cent of the world’s population, scores pension systems on their adequacy, sustainability, and integrity” –

Comment on “Adequacy”:

Our contribution rate of up to 37 per cent of income is the highest in the world.

Lowest real return on pension fund?

The Ordinary Account (OA) interest rate of 2.5 per cent is I believe the lowest real rate of return of all national pension  funds in the world, historically, since 1999.

Comment on “Integrity”:

– The excess returns on the CPF funds taken and utilised by the Government historically – have never been disclosed, explained or accounted for.

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.