Question No. 259 Notice Paper No. 206 of 2005 For Oral Answer
Date: For Parliament Sitting on or after 17 October 2005
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament Q259 - Miss Penny Low
______________________________________________________________________________ Question Q259: To ask the Senior Minister (a) whether there is any plan to grow the retirement wealth management market in Singapore; (b) if so, what specific instruments or policies will need to be changed or introduced; (c) whether his Ministry sees a need to improve the perception and returns on annuity plans for retirees, in view of the fact that annuity plans remain unpopular due to the poor understanding and returns of such plans.
Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister for Education and Deputy Chairman:
1. In developing the wealth management industry in Singapore, MAS looks to grow the number of players in the industry, as well as the range of products and services offered in the industry.
2. Wealth management and pension management services catering to the specific needs and demands of retirement will become increasingly important with the ageing population in Singapore and elsewhere in Asia. We are exploring how we can further develop the market for retirement products, including annuity products, which provide a regular income over an extended period of time. We will encourage asset managers and insurance companies to offer a range of retirement products and services, to complement the role of the CPF and meet different needs. We will also step up financial education concerning retirement needs and products.
3. The CPF Board is developing materials which will give CPF members more information on annuities. MoneySENSE is reaching out to the public by conducting ongoing talks and through the media to raise awareness on retirement planning. In addition, the National Council of Social Services is working with community groups and non-governmental organisations to develop guidelines to help the elderly make informed financial decisions. This is one of the initiatives coordinated by the Committee on Ageing Issues (CAI).
4. This will be a continuing effort in financial education. We will do more to help consumers make informed decisions on which products suit them best.