One and a Half Cheers for Provident Funds in Malaysia and Singapore

  • M Ramesh
Part of the Social Policy in a Development Context book series (SPDC)


Malaysia and Singapore have had provident funds (PF) since long before the `individual retirement savings account’ (IRSA) became popular in policy dis-cussions following the publication of the World Bank’s Averting the Old Age Crisis (1994). The PF is similar to the IRSA in every respect except that it is centrally managed by the government rather than by private managers. Otherwise, both are compulsory defined contribution arrangements which specify the level of contribution rather than the benefits more typical of social insurance arrangements. Both are also fully funded in the sense that members’ benefit is equal to the balance in their personal account, imposing no actual or accrued liability on the government. The distinction is not firm in practice, however, as the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) launched in 2000 in Hong Kong is an IRSA in all but the name.


Contribution Rate Provident Fund Life Annuity Income Maintenance Singapore Government 
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  • M Ramesh

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