SINGAPORE: A far-ranging project aimed at getting CPF members, primarily those aged 36 to 54, to rethink their retirement plans is being launched by the CPF board. The Heartlands Engagement Project wishes for adults in this age range to have a better financial situation and be prepared for the long term.

Last month, a 12 report on the website of Singapore Management University (SMU) asked, “Are Singapore’s young seniors prepared for retirement in a super-aged society?” showing the results from a yearly symposium on successful ageing. Only 34 per cent of Singaporeans say that their retirement preparedness is good, while 27 per cent do not have a retirement plan, as shown by a new study published by the SMU Centre for Research on Successful Ageing or ROSA.

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This would make the CPF Board’s new project all the more timely. The Straits Times reported on Nov 3 (Friday) that tender has been called for the Heartlands Engagement Project, which is scheduled for the second half of next year and is set to involve around 40,000 CPF members in key heartland districts in various activities aimed at helping them improve their financial situation. The 36 to 54 age group was particularly targeted as they have been working for several years but have some more years remaining for planning for their retirement.

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Younger adults between 18 and 35 who are about to be or are new CPF members are the project’s target as well, ST added.

CPF “is an important vehicle for Singaporeans to set aside money for their retirement which delivers decent returns, but Singaporeans should also supplement it with other passive income streams for an even more comfortable retirement that they desire,” ST quotes Mr Aaron Chwee, OCBC’s head of wealth advisory, as saying.

In 2019, researchers from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) carried out a study to find out the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) that the elderly in Singapore would need. This is defined as the amount an individual or household requires each month. The study showed that an elderly person living alone needs S$1,379 monthly, while a couple needs S$2,351 per month. As these figures are several years old, the amount may have changed since then.

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“It is important for Singaporeans to take their first step to financial planning and retirement planning, to know and understand how much they will need in the future, and how they can build up the funds to get there,” Mr Chwee added.

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