Around half the world's population live in countries where the fertility rate is far below the replacement rate and where life expectancy is increasing dramatically. Using Singapore as a case study, Social Policy in an Ageing Society explores what might happen in a dynamic and prosperous society when falling births, longer life expectancy and rising expectations put disproportionate pressure on scarce resources that have alternative uses.
David Reisman investigates the challenges facing Singapore, where a rapidly rising median age and the growing pressure of the elderly upon medical attention are threatening to disrupt the economic and even the political status quo. The dependency of the old upon the young is becoming a financial and an emotional burden. Health care is swelling in quantity and price. Voluntary and compulsory savings are being used up. New demands for pensions and subsidies are challenging the national ideology of family network and self-reliance. Despite a wealth of prospective problems, the author argues that viable solutions can be found. Discretionary savings can increase. Reverse mortgages can monetise owner-occupied property. A higher participation rate can give the elderly the opportunity to earn a living for themselves. This book concludes that public policy must play its part in facilitating these solutions. It must ensure that the old retain their dignity. The old should not lie where they fall.
This comprehensive, intelligible and highly original cross-disciplinary study will appeal to a wide-ranging audience. Readers will include academics, researchers and students with an interest in health economics, the economics of development, social policy and administration, public policy and the socio-economic aspects of medicine.
David Reisman, Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Surrey, UK and Senior Associate, Centre for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Old and Ill 3. The Provident Fund 4. Affordable Health Care 5. Payment for Health: Medisave 6. Payment for Health: MediShield and Medifund 7. Home and Family 8. Assets: Capital and Property 9. Labour in the Retirement Years 10. Older Workers: The Policy Options 11. Conclusion Bibliography Index