Biz Sch News 07 April 2015

Overcoming the Challenges of an Ageing Population

By the year 2030, almost a quarter of Singapore’s population – some 900,000 Singaporeans – will be above 65 years old. With a shrinking and ageing population, as well as Singaporeans’ longer life expectancy, there is an urgent need for the city state to review its pension, transportation and resource plans to better support retirees. Along with these, there are also concerns about increased pressure on housing prices and taxes, and the need to look into other fiscal policy instruments to help the economy grow at sustained path.

Sumit Agarwal NUS Business School

These and other policy-relevant issues with long-term implications on the development of Singapore were discussed at the first Think Business Speaker Series of the year, “Urban Planning to Address Singapore’s Ageing Population”

Sumit agarwal nus talk

Professor Sumit Agarwal, Vice Dean of Research and Low Tuck Kwong Professor at NUS Business School, shared his insights and findings from research projects, all of which have a high impact on Singapore’s political and economic growth. A well-cited scholar, Sumit is passionate about energy resources and sustainability, and how they apply to urban planning.

Sumit Agarwal Talk

At the talk, Sumit shared potential solutions for challenges faced by Singapore in areas like energy consumption, household finances and behavioural finances.  On his studies on Singapore’s Electronic Road Pricing scheme for instance, he combined his interests in finance and urban planning to draw parallels between toll charges and national retail sales. He also shared his research on whether CPF helps save enough for retirement, as well as whether the composition of consumption expenditure changes in the years surrounding retirement and over an individual’s lifecycle.

Photos by Zinkie Aw

Currently, he is working closely with Singapore’s National Environment Agency and Public Utilities Board to undertake two working papers on electricity and water consumption.

The talk, part of the School’s Think Business Speaker Series, raised thought-provoking issues that may be useful for Singapore’s policy-makers and urban planners.

Dean Bernard Yeung shared closing remarks and acknowledged the generous gift from Dato’ Low Tuck Kwong, Founder and Chairman of Indonesia-based mining company PT Bayan Resources to confer the Low Tuck Kwong Professorship for the School.