According to the latest statistics from the Central Provident Fund (CPF), women’s CPF contributions are, on average, rising at a faster rate than men’s.
Better-paying jobs, longer working years, and the change in the CPF transfer rule which encouraged husbands to top up their wives’ CPF savings could be key factors behind the trend.
Women’s average balance in their Ordinary, Special, Retirement and Medisave CPF accounts grew by 8.3 per cent a year against 7.7 per cent a year for men over the past 10 years.
The higher rate of growth also narrowed the gender gap in average CPF balances – from 16 per cent in 2006 to 11 per cent in 2016.
The trend could help women to better meet their retirement needs and lower financial pressure on their children and the national budget.
Expanding initiatives to encourage women to remain or return to the workforce, such as flexible work arrangements, has led to longer working years for the average woman.
Meanwhile, more husbands are contributing to their wives’ CPF savings, after the minimum amount that members must save before transferring excess savings was halved. $110 million was transferred between spouses last year - double the amount from the previous year.
Source: “Women’s CPF savings go up, narrowing gender gap”, The Straits Times, 12 October 2017.