FT REPORT – AGE AND POPULATION: Singapore system starts to creak

By John Burton in Singapore, Financial Times

Singapore would appear well-prepared to tackle the problems of an ageing population. Along with Japan and Malaysia, it is one of the few Asian countries that can claim near-universal coverage for its pension scheme. Its medical facilities are excellent and housing for the elderly is available.

But doubts are emerging about whether Singapore can stick to its current policies or be forced to extend the social safety net. The outcome could determine policies in the rest of Asia, including China, which has studied the Singapore model of combining basic state support with private initiatives.

Singapore, along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan, will have one of Asia’s oldest populations by 2030, with a quarter of people above 65 years of age. There will be only 2.2 workers to support each elderly person, compared with 10 workers in 2000, the result of a rapidly falling birth rate and increased life expectancy.

Read the full report in the Financial Times.