As part of MOF's ongoing efforts to create a better Singapore through Finance, MOF engages industry experts and stakeholders to report on trends and outcomes, based on data-driven insights. We hope the following featured reports are useful.
2023 - Overview of Singapore Government Borrowings
Some observers have pointed out that the Singapore Government has a high level of debt vis-à-vis Singapore’s GDP. Some wonder why this is so, given that the Government runs a balanced budget.
This note explains why the Government borrows, notwithstanding its healthy financial position.
Overview of Singapore Government Borrowings
Readers may also wish to refer here for more information on the Reserves Management Government Securities (RMGS), which the Government recently introduced.
2023 - Medium-Term Fiscal Projections
The Ministry of Finance published an Occasional Paper titled “Medium-Term Fiscal Projections”. This Occasional Paper examines the fiscal implications of our medium-term challenges, and projects the Government’s expenditure and revenue up to Financial Year 2030 (FY2030).
Government spending is expected to increase to around 19%–20% of GDP in the FY2026–2030 period, and possibly exceed 20% of GDP by FY2030. A key driver for this increase is government healthcare expenditure. Besides healthcare, we also factored in the fiscal impact of spending moves that the Government has already committed to, such as uplifting lower-wage workers and improving early childhood education.
The expenditure projections do not take into account future policy moves, such as additional spending to strengthen our social compact and economic competitiveness. If there are such further spending increases, we will need additional revenues to balance the budget in the medium term.
The full paper can be found here.
Press Release: https://www.mof.gov.sg/news-publications/press-releases/maintaining-sound-public-finances-and-balanced-budgets-over-the-medium-term
2022 - Estimating the Effects of Cost-of-Living Support Measures in 2022
Estimating the Effects of Cost-of-Living Support Measures in 2022
The Ministry of Finance published a technical report titled “Estimating the Effects of Cost-of-Living Support Measures in 2022”, which examines the extent to which government support measures provide support to Singaporean households and defray increases in their living expenses.
The report makes use of two different methodologies to provide some numerical estimates of the impact of government support measures.
The full paper can be found here.
2022 - National Strategy for Countering the Financing of Terrorism
Terrorism Financing National Risk Assessment 2020
In 2020, Singapore conducted a Terrorism Financing (TF) National Risk Assessment (NRA). The TF NRA was the culmination of experience and observations from all relevant competent authorities over the past few years, and included inputs from the private sector and academia. It sought to deepen the understanding by law enforcement agencies, supervisors/regulators and the private sector of Singapore’s key TF threats and vulnerabilities, so that appropriate prevention and mitigation measures may be taken.
The TF NRA has found that:
- Singapore continues to be exposed to TF threats posed by terrorist groups both regionally and internationally, in particular the propensity for individuals in Singapore to be radicalised and influenced to carry out TF activities.
- Certain sectors, notably money remittance (or payment service providers carrying out cross-border money transfer service) and banks, are more inherently vulnerable to TF threats, given the relative ease in which their services may be accessed,coupled with Singapore’s status as a financial and transport hub and proximity to countries exposed to terrorism activities.
Competent authorities in Singapore are cognisant of our TF threats and take a whole-of-government approach to combatting them. Our law enforcement agencies have robust capabilities to counter TF, as evidenced by the TF convictions in recent years. Supervisors and relevant authorities have been engaging relevant private sector entities on their TF risks, and this has improved their risk awareness and understanding, and allowed them to strengthen their measures to mitigate TF risks. Private sector entities should continue incorporating the TF NRA findings in their risk-based approach to countering TF.
Taking into account the findings of the TF NRA 2020, Singapore has formulated a comprehensive National Strategy for Countering the Financing of Terrorism.
Local residents and foreign workers.
National Strategy for Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT)
Taking into account the findings of the Terrorism Financing (TF) NRA 2020, Singapore formulated our National Strategy for Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT). The National CFT Strategy forms the blueprint that outlines Singapore’s national
approach to address our TF risks and serves as the roadmap to guide the development of future action plans to effectively prevent, detect, investigate, and enforce against TF. It also enhances the coordination of actions across law enforcement agencies,
policy makers, regulators and supervisors, and as appropriate, the private sector, in Singapore.
Singapore has adopted a five-point strategy which comprises:
- Coordinated and Comprehensive Risk Identification;
- Strong Legal and Sanctions Frameworks;
- Robust Regulatory Regime and Risk Targeted Supervisory Framework;
- Decisive Law Enforcement Actions; and
- International Partnerships and Cooperation.
As necessary, the relevant law enforcement, policy and supervisory agencies have adopted action plans as guided by the National CFT Strategy.
2022 – Assessment of the Impact of Key COVID-19 Budget Measures
The Ministry of Finance published an Occasional Paper titled “Assessment of the Impact of Key COVID-19 Budget Measures”. The paper assesses how Singapore’s COVID-19 measures mitigated the short-term impact of the COVID-19 crisis, and helped prevent potential longer-term economic scarring.
The paper builds on the interim report published in February 2021, and provides an assessment of the impact of Singapore's COVID-19 response on broader economic and social outcomes.
- The full paper can be found here.
- Press Release
2021 - An Interim Assessment of the Impact of Key COVID-19 Budget Measures
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) published a paper titled “An Interim Assessment of the Impact of Key COVID-19 Budget Measures”, which takes stock of the relief measures from the five Budgets in 2020 for workers, families and businesses during
the COVID-19 pandemic.
This paper provides a preliminary analysis on the impact of the Government’s COVID-19 measures across the five Budgets. It summarises how the COVID-19 measures in the five Budgets reached the intended target groups, to help preserve jobs and cushion the pandemic’s impact on businesses and households.
- The full paper can be found here.
- Press Release
2020 - Terrorism Financing National Risk Assessment
This Terrorism Financing National Risk Assessment (TF NRA) is the culmination of experience and observations from all relevant competent authorities over the past few years, and includes inputs from the private sector and academia. It seeks to further
deepen the understanding by law enforcement agencies, supervisors/regulators and the private sector of Singapore’s key TF threats and vulnerabilities, so that appropriate prevention and mitigation measures may be taken.
The TF NRA has found that:
- Singapore continues to be exposed to TF threats posed by terrorist groups both regionally and internationally, in particular the propensity for individuals  in Singapore to be radicalised and influenced to carry
out TF activities.
- Certain sectors, notably money remittance (or payment service providers carrying out cross-border money transfer service) and banks, are more inherently vulnerable to TF threats, given the relative ease in which their services may be accessed, coupled with Singapore’s status as a financial and transport hub and proximity to countries exposed to terrorism activities.
Competent authorities in Singapore are cognisant of our TF threats and take a whole-of-government approach to combatting them. Our law enforcement agencies have robust capabilities to counter TF, as evidenced by the TF convictions in recent years. Supervisors
and relevant authorities have been engaging relevant private sector entities on their TF risks, and this has improved their risk awareness and understanding, and allowed them to strengthen their measures to mitigate TF risks. Private sector entities
should continue incorporating the TF NRA findings in their risk-based approach to countering TF.
The full report can be found here (with Annex).
Local residents and foreign workers.
2019 - Key Socio-Economic Outcomes Across Cohorts
Latest Data Shows Progress Made By Each Generation of Singaporeans: Improvements in Education, Employment, Wages, Residential Property Ownership
Compared to older age groups, Singaporeans in their 40s today are more educated, better able to find jobs, earn more, save more, and live longer and healthier years.
- These are some of the key findings in a new MOF report ( < src="[images|OpenAccessDataProvider]7eaeade1-8788-6bc6-9db6-ff00009989ba" alt="icon_pdf" title="icon_pdf" data-displaymode="Original">747 KB) on socio-economic outcomes of Singaporeans born in 1940 – 1979.
Educational attainment levels have improved across the cohorts of Singaporeans studied in the report, in line with enhanced access and improvements in the quality of the education system. Only 22% of Singaporeans born in 1940 – 1949 went beyond
secondary school, compared to 79% of those born in 1970 – 1979.
- Younger Singaporeans who are not included in the current study are expected to attain even higher educational qualifications. Today, students benefit from well-resourced schools and a large degree of flexibility in the education system, where they can choose from multiple pathways based on their strengths and talents.
Higher Employment Rates, Wages and Savings
With higher qualifications, younger Singaporeans are better able to find jobs, earn higher wages, and save more for retirement. Comparing each cohort when they were in their 40s, the Labour Force Participation Rate for those born in 1970 – 1979
is 89%, compared to 79% for those born in 1950 – 1959. The median real gross monthly income from work (including employer CPF contributions) for those in their 40s is $5,900 for the younger group, more than double that of the $2,800 earned
by the older group. Looking at CPF balances in the Ordinary Accounts and Special Accounts of Singaporeans in their 40s, the median for the younger group is three times that of the older group, after
adjusting for inflation.For balances at the 20th percentile, the younger group has more than seven times the balances of the older group, again after adjusting for inflation.
Today, the Government intervenes actively to support Singaporeans who want to work, such as by supporting skills development and employment facilitation. For example, the Adapt and Grow initiative helps jobseekers affected by economic slowdowns to get
back into employment as soon as possible. Employers also benefit from various grants and programmes to upskill their workers.
Higher Residential Property Ownership Rates
Higher wages and savings have contributed to high residential property ownership rates for Singaporeans. Residential property ownership rates have improved from 76% for those born in 1940 - 1949 to around 85% for the younger cohorts. Most HDB dwellers
have leases that are long enough to cover them until at least age 95. This also means that they have an asset that can be monetised if necessary, to supplement their retirement needs (for example, by right-sizing or through the Lease Buyback Scheme).
Longer Life Expectancies
Singaporeans are living longer, healthier years. The life expectancy at age 45 has risen from 35 years in 1999 to 41 years in 2017, accompanied by a similar rise in Health Adjusted Life Expectancy at age 45 from 29 years in 1999 to 33 years in 2017.
- With enhanced healthcare schemes like MediShield Life, CareShield Life, Community Health Assistance Scheme, Screen For Life, younger Singaporeans will be better prepared for their healthcare needs, including the early detection and management of conditions.
Decrease in Family Support
Although subsequent generations of Singaporeans have a better quality of life and more personal resources for retirement, lower marriage rates and smaller family sizes may mean less available support from the immediate family. The Government will continue
to work closely with community partners to support those who may need additional assistance, even as we encourage the strengthening of inter-generational family bonds. The Government will also do more to help Singaporeans to upskill, earn and
The report is prepared by the Ministry of Finance, with inputs from various ministries. These indicators reflect how socio-economic outcomes have changed across generations, as Singapore progressed from Third World to First. For comparability, they are
grouped into four 10-year age bands to show the improvements in Singaporeans’ quality of life over time – Singaporeans born in the 1940s (1940 – 1949); Singaporeans born in the 1950s (1950 – 1959); Singaporeans born in
the 1960s (1960 – 1969); and Singaporeans born in the 1970s (1970 – 1979). The report is available at https://www.mof.gov.sg (747 KB).
 Real incomes in 2018 dollars.
2019 - Intergenerational Income Mobility in Singapore
The measurement of intergenerational income mobility, or the degree to which income status persists across generations within a family, has been a subject of great interest among social scientists and policymakers. High intergenerational mobility is desirable
from the social perspective as it suggests that there is greater equality of opportunity – society offers similar chances of achieving economic success regardless of one's background. Conversely, low mobility implies that children from low income
families are more likely to remain poor, and thus presents a case for more active government intervention to "level the playing field".
In this paper, we present measures of intergenerational income mobility in Singapore, derived using a simple methodology originating from Solon (1992). Specifically, we estimate the correlation between measures of fathers' incomes and that of their sons' incomes.
Read more about the intergenerational income mobility study:
- Executive Summary (297 KB)
IG Income Mobility In Singapore (833 KB)
2016 - AML/CFT
Singapore's AML/CFT Policy Statement
Singapore adopts a whole-of-government approach to combating money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF). This is led by the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Steering Committee (“AML/CFT Committee”), comprising the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Singapore’s AML/CFT policy objectives are to: i) detect, deter and prevent money laundering, associated predicate offences and terrorism financing; and ii) protect the integrity of its financial system from illegal activities and illicit fund flows. The AML/CFT efforts are centred on having a sound and comprehensive legal, institutional, policy and supervisory framework; low crime rate; intolerance for corruption; an efficient judiciary; close international cooperation with other jurisdictions; an established culture of compliance; effective monitoring of the measures implemented; and decisive law enforcement actions against ML/TF threats.
To achieve the policy objectives, Singapore follows these principles:
Allocate law enforcement, financial intelligence and supervisory resources on a risk-sensitive basis
Maintain close policy and operational coordination and cooperation across the Government
Take a preventive approach that combines tough licencing and comprehensive reporting requirements, strict AML/CFT regulations, and risk-based supervision of the relevant financial and non-financial sectors
Enhance private sector stakeholders’ understanding of ML/TF risks and promote a culture of compliance
Take decisive and deterrent law enforcement action against ML/TF activity, including that relating to foreign crimes
Disrupt drug dealing and other serious offences early to prevent proceeds from being laundered
Provide assistance to other jurisdictions through formal and informal channels spontaneously and on request
Rigorously implement and contribute to the development of international standards, including the international standards on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation set by the Financial Action Task Force and United Nations Security Council Resolutions (particularly for targeted financial sanctions related to terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction)
AML/CFT Steering Committee
Singapore's National Risk Assessment (NIRA) Report
Click here for the press release dated 14 Jan 2016.
2015 - Income Growth, Distribution and Mobility Trends in Singapore
Income growth, inequality and mobility are key issues of concern for many countries across the world.
Real income growth provides an indication of how consumption and standards of living are improving;
Income inequality examines the spread of incomes across a society;
Intergenerational income mobility measures the extent to which individuals' incomes and their standing in the income ladder differs from their parents'.
This paper reviews trends in income growth, inequality and mobility in Singapore using data from the Department Statistics (DOS), and puts them in international perspective.
Read our key findings here (1,149 KB).
Read the Economic Society of Singapore SG50 Distinguished Lecture by DPM Tharman on Singapore's social policies here.