So why did the professors use the number $2,340? Probably because it best fits Tharman's projected Income Replacement Rate (IRR) figure of $1,330 at age 65. Think of the tabulation as answers hashed to fit the question. However you look at it, the future is pretty bleak.
Professors Chia Ngee Choon and Albert Tsui of the National University of Singapore crafted their 27-page study using ministry wage data growth for the past 10 years, highly secretive numbers previously unavailable to the public or researchers. Which makes it difficult for anybody else on planet earth to challenge their computation. They argue that a 25-year old male who starts work at a median monthly pay of $2,500 will be able to build up sufficient CPF savings over 40 years, and retire at 65 with 70 percent of his pre-retirement income pegged at age 55. It would appear the objective of the exercise is to debunk the report by Professor Hui Weng Tat of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, which had warned that young Singaporean graduates may not have enough CPF savings for retirement.
Prof Hui may not have access to the top secret data conveniently made available to the NUS dons, but the numbers may not withstand close scrutiny. Note that the starting pay for the 70th percentile (upper middle income, male) is indicated as $3,300. That means the $15,000 compensation for members of parliament, who also draws pay from their day job, must be categorised as supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. And the descriptive for the minister's pay check will surely be beyond this universe.
The NUS study also claims that the "Workfare safety net" provides a significant boost for the low-wage workers, rocketing their IRR from 80 percent to 92 percent. At those rates, even pigs will fly.