Most retirement systems across the globe have three pillars: a government run social security system, an employment-based retirement system, and, finally, additional individual retirement savings.
On the fourth stop of our global tour, we travel to a country where the government runs the whole thing…Singapore! Their comprehensive system goes beyond retirement and is run by the government through the Central Provident Fund (CPF).
In this episode, Josh Cohen interviews Desmond Chew, a senior manager at CPF, to help explain its history and how it works, and Joe Cherian, a professor who lays out a methodology which helps evaluate both Singapore’s system and others around the globe. Join us to hear about this all-in-one approach!
[:25] Josh Cohen, your host, introduces today’s topic: Singapore, whose government runs the whole retirement plan, and in fact, reaches well beyond retirement.
[2:25] Singapore established a mandatory retirement system called the Central Provident Fund (CPF) the basis of the system played today.
[2:50] Mr. Desmond Chew (Group Director- Housing) has served in the CPF for more than 20 years. Desmond explains what exactly CPF is and what is its role.
[7:51] CPF supports other goals apart from retirement, Dr. Chew speaks about the importance of public housing.
[10:52] MediSave are contributions that increase as workers age and its purpose is to be destined for medical expenses. Desmond shares the most important aspect.
[13:08] Josh and Desmond dive deep into how the money is invested and the role the GIC plays.
[15:25] Desmond talks about the case of those individuals who are ready to take more risks with their savings.
[16:45] The system balances individual choice with collective responsibility, Dr. Chew explains how.
[20:02] Joseph (Joe) Cherian (Professor of Finance at NUS Business School) shares his background and career journey.
[22:10] Joe talks about what happened in 2014, a conflictive time for Singapore’s retirement system.
[22:54] Joe wrote an article named: Seven Pillars of a Good Retirement System, stating why CPF meets most of these pillars and the possible areas for improvement.
[30:06] Can the US or other countries adopt a system like this? Joe thinks it's difficult to emulate the historical and governmental influence, so he does not recommend it unless the country has a good and solid government.
[33:06] Stayed tuned for the bonus episodes!
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