The Future of Old Age Income Security

24 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2013 Last revised: 15 Jan 2014

See all articles by Mukul G. Asher

Mukul G. Asher

National University of Singapore - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Date Written: October 24, 2013


Global ageing and urbanization are among the major challenges facing countries around the world. This paper, based on a revised version of the Robert Butler Memorial Lecture delivered at the International Centre Global Alliance Symposium on ‘The Future of Ageing’ on 21 June 2013 in Singapore, focuses on three aspects. First, it examines the global ageing trends and their implications based on the 2012 Revision of the UNDESA’s World Population Prospects projections. Second, it summarizes selected studies projecting additional expenditure on pensions and health care which may be needed in the future. The projections suggest that additional resources which would need to be generated, at the time when medium term growth prospects are subdued, would be significant, in the range of 2 to 5 percent of GDP. Given constrained tax policy autonomy and high locational elasticity of businesses and individuals, raising resources, i.e. funding for financing aging, and designing financing-mix between various sources and sectors, have acquired greater urgency. So the third section briefly outlines how countries could address funding and financing challenges, including developing capacities to access non-conventional sources such as making more productive use of state assets.

Keywords: ageing population and trends, pensions, fiscal space and financing

JEL Classification: H5, I3, J14

Suggested Citation

Asher, Mukul G., The Future of Old Age Income Security (October 24, 2013). Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 13-20, Available at SSRN: or

Mukul G. Asher (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy ( email )

Singapore 117591
(65) 6778 1020 (Fax)

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