Monday, August 9, 2010


Kudos to KMDC, organisers of Malaysia's first-ever conference on Retirement Transformation. Held on 3 August at the Sime Darby Convention Centre, the event couldn't have come at a better time. With the slowing down of the birthrate and longer life expectancy, 9.9% of the population in Malaysia will be aged 60 and above by 2020. According to UN definition, any country with 10% of its population above the age of 60 is categorized as an ageing nation.

Slide: Prof Ong Fon Sim of UniRAZAK

Thanks to pre-conference interviews that were carried in the local media and in magazines like Smart Investor, the conference succeeded in drawing attention to key retirement issues and the challenges posed by an ageing population, namely:
  • strain on public retirement funds e.g. EPF and pension funds
  • higher medical and healthcare costs
  • provision of age-friendly facilities
  • measures to retain older workers
  • empowering elders to be actively engaged

Slide: Mr Mohamed Akwal Sultan, CEO of Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK)

The discussions covered a wide range of topics. Although much of the focus was on financial literacy, some of the speakers touched on other areas like re-employment of older workers, business opportunities in the silver industry, wellness and retirement living. Click here for the full list of speakers.

Slide: Dr Goh Chee Leong, Faculty Dean, HELP University College

It wasn't just all talk. At the press conference which I attended, Datuk Dr Zainal Aznam Yusof of the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC), announced the launch of the Foundation for Sustainable Retirement (FSR). As the protem chairman, he explained the objectives of FSR and the way forward in transforming the retirement landscape in the country. For more information on FSR, please read my earlier post on BREAKING NEWS: LAUNCH OF THE FOUNDATION FOR SUSTAINABLE RETIREMENT.

Members of the protem FSR committee and advisory panel present at the press conference: Datuk Dr Zainal; Mr Kim Walker, CEO of Silver Group, Singapore; Mr Roland Naufal, Founder of 4C Consulting, Australia; Mr Khoo Chuan Keat, Sr Exe Director of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Malaysia; and Mr Tadaaki Masuda, Director of Council on Ageing, Japan.

It is reassuring for retirees to know that policy-makers and key industry players are working in tandem to come up with proposals they hope will lead to the development of a national retirement policy that will benefit all stakeholders.

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