Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Unlike the defined benefit system adopted by the United States, Singapore operates a defined contribution system administered by the Central Provident Fund (CPF). When originally conceived, CPF’s main goal was to help citizens save for retirement. However, over the years, it has evolved into a comprehensive system with multi-faceted objectives: saving for retirement, home ownership, healthcare, financial protection, and asset enhancement. While regarded as generally successful, the CPF has been criticized recently for not achieving retirement adequacy. This chapter reviews the key features of Singapore’s social security savings system and suggests some reforms to enhance retirement security for its members.


The published version of this Working Paper may be found in the 2016 publication: Reimagining Pensions.


Central Provident Fund, social security savings, defined contribution, defined benefit, retirement adequacy, home ownership, healthcare financing, financial protection, asset enhancement

Working Paper Number


Copyright/Permission Statement

All opinions, errors, findings, interpretations, and conclusions of this paper represent the views of the authors and not those of the Wharton School or the Pension Research Council. © 2014 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.

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Economics Commons



Date Posted: 26 June 2019