Singapore Forum on Responses to Women's Life-Course Risks
This was the first Singapore Forum on Older Women's Financial Security jointly organised by the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO), the Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS) and the Tsao Foundation.
On 30 November 2018, academics, policy-makers, private sector and civil society organisations gathered at the Regent Hotel, Singapore for the first Singapore Forum jointly organized by the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO), the Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS) and the Tsao Foundation. The focus of the Forum was on the factors influencing the financial security of older women and the gender retirement savings gap.
A major highlight of the Forum was the launch of the Singapore Alliance of Women in Ageing (SAWA), an alliance of four organisations – Tsao Foundation, SCWO, AWARE and PPIS – for collaboration and commitment to advancing the needs of older women in Singapore. The four organisations called for stakeholders, ranging from government to community to individuals, to take action on four key recommendations.
Distinguished Guest of Honour, Ms Foo Mee Har, Member of Parliament, West Coast GRC opened the Forum with an inspiring and engaging speech reiterating the need for a focus on older women. The main findings of the study on the Financial Security of Older Women in Singapore, part of a multi-country study commissioned by the Regional Learning Network on Women’s Financial Securitywere shared. The study highlights that women’s financial security in old age is the outcome of gender-based differences faced by women throughout the life-course, in particular in relation to labour force participation and caregiving.
The Forum also formally launched the report by the International Longevity Centre Singapore, Tsao Foundation and Asia Pacific Risk Centre, Mercer and Marsh & McLennan on “Gender Retirement Savings Gap of Low-Income Professionals.” The study underlines the widening gender gap in retirement savings adequacy among low-income professionals in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong, and examines the reasons for this disparity.
The reports were complemented by lively panel discussion moderated by Ms Hazlina Abdul Halim, Editor and Presenter, MediaCorp, on the issues of financial security and policy responses. Distinguished speakers included Ms Peh Kim Choo CEO, Tsao Foundation, Ms Godelieve van Dooren, Regional Industry Leader, Asia Pacific, Mercer, Dr June Goh, President, SCWO, Ms Susana Concordo Harding, Director, International Longevity Centre Singapore, Ms Corinna Lim, Executive Director, AWARE, Mdm Rahayu Mohamad, President, PPIS, and Ms K. Thanaletchimi, Chairperson, NTUC Women’s Committee & President, Healthcare Services Employees’ Union.