The Singapore An Aging Population Economics Essay

Ageing is the accretion of physical, physiological and societal alterations in a individual over clip. It is a phenomenon that every person is bound to see. Therefore, it is merely natural for one to trust to populate in a society that respects, supports and caters to assorted demands of the aged.

Today, authoritiess around the universe are confronting the tough challenge of supplying equal health care and lodging for the aged. Due to the possible uneffective allotment of financess or the deficiency of concern for its aged citizens by the authorities, there is a possibility that a big proportion of the aged are neglected and are left foraging for basic necessities while fighting with countless wellness issues associated with age.

Singapore presently has one of the fastest turning economic systems in the universe. However, it besides has an highly low birth rate and an appallingly high rate of ageing. Approximately 10 % of the population of 5 million is aged over 65. This figure will increase to approximately 25 % by the twelvemonth 2020.

With such flooring statistics, many inquiries come to mind. A immature adult male may worry about how he will happen the agencies to back up his aged parents every bit good as his ain household. A A adult female stopping point to retirement may be concerned about her hereafter and admiration whether she would hold to execute humble occupations to do ends meet.

It is the responsibility of any authorities to give precedence to the demands and demands of its citizens and take stairss to turn to them.

Therefore, Singapore ‘s Government has to explicate policies that address the possible jobs of an aging population and take preventative steps to counter the same.

Stakeholders Involved

Before trying to work out the jobs of Singapore ‘s aging population, it is critical to place the stakeholders involved. By analyzing the effects of an ageing population on these stakeholders, the potentially negative effects of this issue can be mitigated, and future jobs can be anticipated. Particularly with the ever-changing societal demographics and economic conditions, the inter-connectedness of the force per unit area which an aging population would exercise on our state as a whole should non be underestimated, particularly during the stage when identified secondary societal stakeholders transit to primary societal stakeholders.

Primary stakeholders include:

1 ) Senior citizens

Senior citizens are the really group of people to see the most impact as their wellbeing is at interest.

General concerns for these group of stakeholders include:

Would the future coevalss be able to back up the increasing proportion of senior citizens?

Are substructure and public services elderly-friendly?

Will the Singapore Government introduce more strategies and policies aimed at bettering the state of affairs?

2 ) Working Singaporeans

As an ageing population additions demand for health care and other services, the fiscal force per unit area on Singaporeans rises excessively as the revenue enhancements they contribute to back up these services increases. This decreases the income they bring place and straight affects their disbursement power.

3 ) Singapore Government

With a shriveling work force, a bead in the economic growing rate is inevitable. The authorities is responsible for the debut of suited policies to incorporate the state of affairs. Besides, the authorities has to guarantee that Singaporeans follow an optimistic position on the affair and make nation-wide consciousness on the impacts of an ageing population.

Secondary stakeholders include:

1 ) Future coevalss

Presently, the deductions of an ageing population have yet to to the full present themselves and the Singapore Government is absorbing most of the effects at current state of affairs. However, if statistical surveies prove right and the proportion of senior citizens to working Singaporeans additions, the effects would be more terrible and Singaporeans would hold to portion the load of back uping the ageing population in ulterior old ages. Therefore, our future coevalss will besides confront the same negative effects of the ageing population that current Singaporeans face.

2 ) Businesss

As Singapore ‘s population is turning older, there will be a comparatively fewer figure of people in the working sector. Businesss and administrations will be affected by the deficiency of immature and skilled workers. As a consequence, extra financess may hold to be spent on preparations to assist the older workers master new accomplishments. Furthermore, due to higher revenue enhancements burden on families, A buying power of persons will diminish significantly. This will finally impact the growing of concerns.

The secondary stakeholders neither straight affected nor involved in the job. Future coevalss have yet to be affected by the job of ageing. When the state of affairs worsens in future, our posterities will hold to back up their seniors and will besides be affected by higher revenue enhancements. They will later go primary stakeholders.

As we can see, big subdivisions of the society are affected by this issue and will go on to be affected by the uninterrupted addition of ageing population. Hence, immediate stairss have to be taken in order to minimise the amendss caused by this issue.

Figure 1 ( insert )

The Implications Of An Aging Population

Singapore has one of the highest proportions of aged citizens in the universe, and 2nd merely to Japan in South East Asia.

( Suan Ee Ong, 2010 ) .

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1. Society

The Declining Standards of an Individuals Health

Research suggests that as persons age, they are progressively prone to legion wellness hazards. The hazard of malnutrition heightens with age with 3 in 10 aged at high hazard. ( hypertext transfer protocol: // page=viewentry & A ; id=133 ) A As a individual ages, jobs like diabetes or Parkinson ‘s sets in, along with dietetic limitations. One can besides anticipate an overall deteriorating quality of physical wellness. For case, psychomotor accomplishments deteriorate, ensuing in smothered physical independency. A Osteoporosis, a disease in which causes the castanetss to go less heavy affects big Numberss of our aged. Additionally, mental wellness starts deteriorating with the oncoming of unwellnesss like dementedness and depression.

As one ages, quality of wellness will doubtless follows a downward tendency. Coupled with an increasing figure of citizens aged 65 and supra. this leads to a lessening in the criterion of wellness over a period of clip.

This would in bend give rise to new industries and concerns go arounding around wellness attention, with niche specializations in attention for the elderly.

It is of import for the society A to supply services that target the elderly. Furthermore, the World Health Organization ( WHO ) has stated that non all of A the aged will be in demand of wellness attention services if society helped them take an active life style. Therefore, the population growing forecasted in future old ages, urban economic states will miss the entreaty to pull immigrants. ( Kresl, Peter Karl & A ; Letri, Daniele ( 2010 ) ) Bing a little state with low birth rate, Singapore may confront some challenges in pulling foreign endowment to our metropolis in future. Therefore, our society may confront troubles in using a sufficiently skilled work force to maximize end product.

Effectss On Future Coevalss

As the population ages, there will be an increasing demand for goods and services in the health care sector. A authorities ‘s responsibility is to function its people, and society as a whole would anticipate basic wellness attention services to be provided. Consequently, there will be A increased force per unit area on the authorities to supply for wellness attention. Monetary costs would be incurred and would be passed on to society in the signifier of increased revenue enhancements. With the blue birth rates we see today ( 1.22 births per adult female in 2011, down from 1.83 in 1990 ) , revenue enhancement loads on future coevalss ( who will so go primary societal stakeholders ) will merely increase as clip goes by. ( Department of Statistics Singapore. ( 2012 ) )

There is an reverse relationship between the dependence ratio ( per centum of the population who are excessively old or excessively immature to work ) and birth rate of a state. Naturally, an increasing dependence ratio can be attributed A to a worsening birth rate. A If the birth rate continues to stagnate or drop, the dependence ratio would merely increase at a faster rate in the hereafter. This translates into a heavier load on the working population to keep economic growing and to supply for dependent citizens.

The Reverence of The Silver Generation to Society

It is apparent that the aged exert a major influence on our societal cloth. They carry with them the civilizations, traditions and values that make our state what it is today. The difficult work and clip that they put in to raise educated, motivated and refined citizens of this coevals is the ground why our state has reached this degree of success. As the expression goes, with clip comes wisdom. Therefore, the Ag coevals is much revered, and as per Asian civilizations, due regard and attention should be given to them. As the aged before us have served the state by lending to it in assorted facets, Singapore ‘s authorities should hold a sense of filial piousness to them. Since the authorities is a primary societal stakeholder involved in the issue of an ageing population, it has introduced many authorities enterprises to work out originating jobs.

Summarizing Up

To manage the deductions of an aging population, we should seek to better aged criterions of life and promote them to lend to society even at an age past retirement. The authorities should besides take up enterprises to assist senior citizens tantrum in and go on to be portion of the work force even at a mature old age.

2. Businesss

Due to the rapid growing of an ageing population, there are certain issues that may originate.

Productivity Issues In Organisations

A big proportion of senior citizens in a population indicates a diminution in size of a productive work force. A Harmonizing to the UN ‘s latest two-year population prognosis, the average age for all states will lift from 29 to 38 old ages by 2050. ( SOURCE ) We may safely presume that the dependence ratio will increase dramatically over the following few decennaries.

Organizations looking to spread out productiveness would be loath to engage older workers. Those following a net income maximising theoretical account opine that it would be more cost efficient to engage younger workers due to their higher productiveness. Additionally, during periods of recession, more frequently than non, older workers are among the top few in the retrenchment list. However, this contrasts A the fact that older workers bring with them a overplus of experience and wisdom, which can merely be gained over clip. A Despite cost inefficiency, it is unjust to be against the impression of hiring of older workers.

Singapore ‘s authorities foresaw these issues and implemented new statute laws to control age favoritism at the workplace. As of 1 Jan 2012, under the Retirement and Re-employment Act ( RRA ) , the statutory retirement age was set at 62, and companies have to offer re-employment contracts to workers up to the age of 65.

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With these new enterprises, it can be seen that the authorities is indirectly prosecuting all concern administrations through statute law. These concerns, which were one time secondary societal stakeholders, are now germinating into primary societal stakeholders in this issue of an aging population.

Addition In Demand For Health Care & A ; A Elderly-Specific Facilities

Many states, including Singapore, have been working towards supplying better attention, non merely in clinics and infirmaries, but besides within the community and at place. To heighten handiness for the aged, the authorities has taken up many enterprises and undertakings to better A life conditions for the aged.

For illustration, the Enhancement for Active Seniors ( EASE ) programme implemented by Singapore authorities introduced slip-resistant bathrooms and even installed grab bars within flats. Other undertakings include life upgradation, constructing A of A barrier-free characteristics such as inclines and the levelling of stairss.

In order to supply a more accessible health care services, the Singapore authorities has given more accent on place and community-based services, which include the enlargement of societal rehabilitative attention topographic points. More subsidies have besides been introduced to back up the hapless and those from middle-income households. A

The turning ageing A population has resulted in the turning demand for installations and the enlargement of subsidies which is seting great force per unit area on authorities. Government passing on wellness attention is estimated to increase even further in the hereafter A as more money is required to back up new enterprises and enlargement of the bing enterprises. There is besides a demand to engage more wellness professionals, for which more resources and financess are required. As a consequence, the allotment of the budget towards health care is expected to lift every bit related disbursement would increase to about twice by 2030.

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3. Government

Government policies non merely have a positive impact on the lives of the aged, but may besides hold a negative impact on concerns. Business proprietors may experience restricted by such employment policies and may make up one’s mind to travel out of Singapore. They may besides halt back uping the authorities in the elections.

The authorities relies to a great extent on revenue enhancements from little and big concerns for its beginnings of gross. If these concerns were to alter location or travel out of Singapore due to restrictive policies, grosss would fall. A bead in gross would intend that the authorities has less to pass on other installations for its people.

Furthermore, resettlement of concerns would ensue in widespread loss of local occupations. The consequence is a higher dependence ratio, higher unemployment rate, less gross for the authorities and the decelerating down of the economic system.

Therefore, the authorities should guarantee that any policy related to ageing does non anger or upset the sentiments of assorted concerns and should maintain in head what is at interest.

Summarizing Up

Let us see the repercussive concatenation of effects of aging population. First the figure of people in the work force would drop, with a corresponding addition in the dependence ratio. This translates into a bead in end product /productivity of single concerns and the economic system as a whole. As Singapore ‘s GDP is really dependent on both our import/export sectors and consumerism this could do Singapore ‘s economic system to travel into a lag. One might reason that there would be an addition in the growing due to the ingestion of more health care. However the beads in productiveness would be greater than the addition in ingestion of health care. Finally, there will be an increased load on the current work force to keep economic growing. Finally, if nil is done, a barbarous rhythm commences, and future coevalss would happen it progressively hard to supply for the old coevalss and back up the economic system.

( Picture – Singapore ‘s index of ageing )

Actions Taken By Singapore ‘s Government

Singapore ‘s authorities recognises that the addition in the ageing population will take to several effects that will impact all subdivisions of society, every bit good as the economic system of the state. Hence, in order to back up the older population, the authorities has put in topographic point assorted policies and introduced new A strategies.

In 2004, the authorities set up the Committee on Aging Issues. This commission comprised of A private and authorities representatives who came together to discourse issues related to ageing. A The recommendations for solutions related to these issues were presented in a study and were passed for execution. They aimed at heightening employability, bettering health care installations, advancing active life styles and fiscal independency.

The authorities besides aims at set uping concrete facts about our population and conducts frequent studies to estimate the physical and mental wellness of seniors. It besides identifies countries to better the well-being of its citizens.

( Mention: hypertext transfer protocol: // % 20on % 20Ageing % 20Population % 20 ( Public ) .pdf )

1. Housing

As seen from Figure 1 ( Singapore: Indexs of Ageing ) , the proportion of Singaporeans aged 65 and above will significantly lift in the coming old ages. Hence, there is a demand for the authorities to present strategies that provide equal lodging that caters to the demands of aged such as their wellness, mobility and security, which is of extreme importance.

Some strategies that the authorities introduced were the Multi-Generation Flats in 1987 and Granny Flats in 1991. However, they were non really good received. A more successful enterprise was the execution of Project LIFE ( Lift Improvement and Facilities Enhancement for Elderly ) . ( Mention: hypertext transfer protocol: // % 20developments % 20for % 20ageing % 20population % 20in % 20Spore % 20- % 20yap % 20chin % 20beng.pdf ) This proposal aims at making lifts in Housing Development Board ( HDB ) flats so that every floor is serviced, for the convenience of the aged and the disableds. The authorities expects complete acceptance of this program in all HDB flats by 2014.

In add-on, integrated studio flats were besides incorporated into each lodging block and came with infinites for societal and communal assemblages.

In the twelvemonth 2011, the authorities introduced the thought of barrier-free lodging environments which involved the edifice of disability inclines and tracts to ease easy motion of wheelchairs.

Therefore, uninterrupted alteration of lodging landscapes aims at run intoing the demands of citizens and to supply a comfy shelter for each and every senior citizen.

2. Conveyance

Public conveyance has besides seen betterments and is slightly more ‘elder-friendly ‘ . In 2006, MRT Stationss were modified and made barrier free. Today, about 40 per centum of our coachs are wheelchair accessible.

3. Encouraging re-employment

Due to the negative impacts of ageing population on the work force productiveness, the authorities has seen the importance to undertake on this job so as to prolong economic growing. Hence, the 2005 assignment of a Tripartite Committee ( authorities, employers and merchandise brotherhood ) on Employability of Older Workers by the Minister for Manpower addressed the issue by implementing several steps ( Thang, L. ( 2011 ) ) .

One of the steps is the the passage of Retirement and Re-Employment Act ( RRA ) which was put into consequence on 1 Jan 2012. The Tripartite Committee formed the Tripartite Implementation Workgroup to assist employers transport out this enterprise.

In October 2007, the Tripartite Implementation Workgroup formed by the Tripartite Committee was to help companies in the execution of the re-employment steps. In order to farther promote the execution of re-employment strategies for older workers, companies were given fiscal support of up to $ 400,000 for policies that were placed in line with the re-employment statute law. Workforce Development Agency besides subsidized the re-training programmes that were put in topographic point by employers. in add-on, Continuing Education and Training ( CET ) maestro program was launched in 2008 by the Ministry of Manpower to supply preparations for employees so that they will be equipped with accomplishments that keep up with the gait of the aggressive industries.

While the authorities efforts to promote re-employment of older workers, they have to guarantee that younger employees and employers are willing to accept them. This is because older workers are by and large perceived as unproductive and inflexible. Hence, steps have been put in topographic point foster an age-friendly working environment. This is done by presenting national awards to admit companies with the most progressive and indifferent patterns. The Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices ( TAFEP ) has besides put in topographic point many guidelines to recommend on equity and to deter favoritism of the old-aged employees. ( Thang, L. ( 2011 ) )

Hence, by promoting the older employees to go on working, and A by altering mentalities to accept older workers, Singapore ‘s work force and end product can be maintained at the current degree of unity.

The Tripartite Implementation Workgroup was a comparative success as by February 2009, 706 nonionized companies have committed to re employment while 4650 workers over age 62 were re-employed by the terminal of 2008. ( Thang, L. ( 2011 ) )

4. Guaranting fiscal stableness for the elderly

Due to the diminishing birthrate rate in Singapore, there will be a heavier fiscal load on the future coevalss, and it is possible that the older coevals may non be financially independent. The Workfare Income Supplement ( WIS ) Scheme was introduced in 2007 to guarantee that Singaporeans will hold sufficient nest eggs for their retirement. This strategy encourages the older workers who are gaining low-paying wage to go on working so that they can roll up more CPF nest eggs. A In order to supplement higher take-home wage and decreased CPF rates, the Government began to give aged workers portion of the WIS in hard currency so that they can afford for their basic demands. ( Mention: hypertext transfer protocol: // )

Furthermore, due to the addition in life anticipation, the authorities programs to increase the Minimum Sum Draw-Down age from 62 to 65 by the twelvemonth 2018. There were besides plans to present a length of service insurance strategy. This will guarantee that CPF members can be assured of a basic income every bit long as they live. ( Mention: hypertext transfer protocol: // )

5. Healthcare

In face of the current tendency that can be observed in Singapore, it is indispensable that health care services are improved to provide to the demands of the older population. Therefore, the Ministry of Health introduced a Chronic Disease Management Programme which empowered doctors to follow a holistic attack in the intervention of diseases. Furthermore, the ElderShield Scheme for the handicapped was enhanced in 2007 to assist increase affordability of medical services by paying $ 400 per month for up to 6 old ages. There was a 60 % betterment from the old strategy. A

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In add-on, the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports ( MCYS ) and the Ministry of Health ( MOH ) are besides carry oning A a reappraisal of eldercare services aimed at breaking installations such as day care Centres, rehabilitation Centres and place aid services.

The construct of active ripening was developed by the European Commission in 2002. It brings frontward the thought of higher retirement age and longer period of activity in the work force. It has been proven that taking an active and directional life improves the overall wellbeing of an single and helps maintain unwellnesss and diseases at bay. Active ripening was introduced by the Singapore authorities in order to guarantee self sufficiency of citizens after retirement. It established the Council for Third Age ( C3A ) in May 2007 to advance active ripening and fund community-based events related to active ripening.

In add-on, due to the addition in degenerative diseases that require expensive intervention, the construct of active ripening is deriving more importance. It is said that the cost of intervention for the older coevals will be two to three times more than that needed for the younger population.

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What Does the Future Hold?

Our population is ageing at a rate faster than in states such as Australia, South Korea, UK and the USA. ( ref – first article in dropbox ) . The figure of citizens aged 65 and above will demo a septuple addition by the twelvemonth 2050. So what does this mean for our hereafter?

First, our state will be more prone to external invasion. Presence of an ageing population is an index that our defence is weakening. We will hold fewer immature people to make full the ranks of the ground forces, and fewer physically fit citizens to support us in times of demand. Our hereafter and endurance will be threatened.

Second, economic growing will decelerate down. Singapore will no longer be seen as a hub of immature, gifted and competitory persons by planetary MNCs. They may no longer want to put and put up their offices here. Furthermore, with fewer persons to pay income revenue enhancements, the authorities will hold less money to pass on health care, substructure, etc. As a consequence, revenue enhancements will increase, go forthing people less to pass on themselves and their household.

The demand for health care services will lift, but will non be sufficiently subsidised by a authorities which does non hold adequate resources.

Singapore is at the threshold of come ining a barbarous rhythm. If immediate short-run and long-run steps are non taken, we are bound to happen ourselves traveling backwards and making a rate of growing similar to what we had many decennaries ago.

Our recommendations

1. Enhancing senior citizens ‘ value in the organisation through authorization

In line with the re-employment policies the authorities has in topographic point, we suggest that organisations create assignments and rubrics specially aimed at authorising senior citizens. They should guarantee that A these creative activities are aligned with the capablenesss of these senior citizens.

Similarly, bing places should A be modified harmonizing to their capablenesss. The intent of this A is to heighten their value and wellbeing in the workplace where they are frequently regarded as liabilities more than assets.

With such enterprises, senior citizens will be able to execute better, with more flexibleness and acknowledgment within the organisation. This besides widens the operating construction of organisations, leting for more assortment of specialisation.

At the same clip, organisations could tap into their experience and expertness, particularly for crisis direction and consultative functions. Even within the Singapore Cabinet, forefather Lee Kuan Yew is still actively involved in local political relations at the age of 89 and the rubrics “ Minister Mentor ” and “ Senior Minister ” were specially created to continuously authorise him.

2. Continuous active publicity of healthy aging from little communities

Soon, Senior Citizens ‘ Executive Committees ( SCECs ) under the People ‘s Association ( PA ) , the largest senior citizens ‘ web in Singapore, organizes a broad assortment of activities and classs aimed at heightening senior citizens ‘ life experiences. They are normally conducted at a national degree, and rarely make out to the smaller communities.

The authorities could prosecute Resident Committees ( RCs ) and Community Centres ( CCs ) in vicinities to help in advancing healthy aging. Subsidised or sponsored activities could be one alternate to pull senior citizens to actively exert healthy aging. Changeless consciousness can be achieved through newssheets and booklets mailed to letterboxes.

3. Strengthening household ties

It is of import for our society to gain the value and importance of senior citizens. They should non be viewed as loads ; alternatively they should be seen as extraordinary citizens who brought us every bit good as our state to the place we are in today. Hence, it is expected that we, the younger coevals, give them the deserved attention and regard without any subterranean motivation in head.

We feel that the indoctrination of these strong values should get down at a immature age. A Particular programmes should be introduced into schools in order to advance togetherness within the household. Children should be educated about the importance of seniors in society and should be taught to ever demo them esteem and kindness. The media can besides play a function an of import in this procedure by on occasion printing articles that portray the aged in a good visible radiation.

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