Our post-discussion survey indicated that almost 18 per cent more of our participants were prepared to draw more resources from savings and their family to age well compared to before our discussions began.
Also, 15 per cent more of them indicated they were prepared to have the Government generate needed resources through the GST.
Almost 8 per cent more participants indicated that those resources should be drawn from the national reserves. We expected this to be higher as it would seem to be the quick-fix to public finances.
We learnt that the younger participants want to know that their support today means that they too will be supported tomorrow as their future seemed more uncertain. Reciprocity is a fundamental tenet of any social compact.
Anticipating the challenges arising from an ageing population and shouldering the costs are critical questions we must address. There will be far more comfort, from households to country, if we know that we can manage them because we can pool our resources to do it together.
Significantly, 39 per cent more participants indicated confidence in ageing well in Singapore at the end of our discussions. The government’s refreshed Action Plan provides us with the structure by which to make this a good place to grow old in.
Alfred Wu is Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. Gillian Koh is Senior Research Fellow; Sandy Lee and Gabriel Lim are Research Assistants at the Institute of Policy Studies, an autonomous research centre of the same School.