This is the final issue of the first volume of the Journal of Pension Economics and Finance. We are pleased that the Journal has had a very successful first year, both in terms of the quality of submissions and in terms of building up an extensive and high quality subscription base. We will report in more detail on our first year as well as our plans for the future in the first issue of the second volume.
The four articles in this issue span a broad range of topics. The first article is by David McCarthy (Oxford University, Institute of Ageing), Olivia Mitchell (University of Pennsylvania, Pension Research Council) and John Piggott (University of New South Wales, Centre for Pensions and Superannuation) who have written a paper entitled: Asset rich and cash poor: retirement provision and housing policy in Singapore.
As mandatory defined contribution systems are increasingly adopted around the world, the experience in Singapore is particularly relevant in that its Central Provident Fund (CPF) is one of the oldest major international examples of a mandatory defined contribution pension system. With funds representing roughly 60% of Singapore's GDP, the CPF is also one of the most prominent publicly managed investment funds in the world.
The particular focal point of the McCarthy et al. paper is the effect of rules in Singapore which allow individuals to use their accumulated funds to pay for housing. The use of retirement savings vehicles for approved purposes, such as medical care, education and unemployment, is an important policy issue, with most countries continuing to have strict prohibitions on drawing funds prior to retirement.