New islandwide campaign to boost financial literacy among Singaporeans

MoneySense is the national education programme launched in 2003 to make financial knowledge more accessible. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - A new MoneySense campaign was launched on Wednesday to equip Singaporeans with knowledge and concrete steps to plan their finances and retirement.

The campaign, which will run until the end of November, is led by MoneySense – the national education programme launched in 2003 to make financial knowledge more accessible.

MoneySense is overseen by the MoneySense Council, co-chaired by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Ministry of Manpower (MOM) with representatives from 12 other government agencies.

This year's campaign includes in-person and mass media education programmes, as well as complimentary services and tools to aid in financial planning, MAS and MOM said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

The mass media education programmes include free-to-air programmes such as a Mandarin infotainment game show, an English documentary series, and Malay and Tamil capsules that will be broadcast on national television and digital platforms.

These programmes will provide tips on managing finances and making sound financial decisions for a more secure retirement amid inflationary pressures.

MoneySense, in partnership with academic institutions and the industry, will also hold a series of financial education programmes for young people and the general public, the agencies said.

The campaign is guided by findings from the MoneySense National Financial Capability Survey 2021.

The survey included 2,000 Singapore residents aged 18 to 79 in 2021. It was commissioned by the MoneySense Council and conducted by the National University of Singapore.

A greater proportion of respondents budgeted and kept track of their spending, and maintained at least three months of expenses as emergency savings than those surveyed in the Financial Planning Attitudes Survey in 2017.

However, the survey also found that knowledge of financial concepts could be further improved – four in 10 respondents did not understand financial concepts such as risk diversification and simple and compound interest.

There is also room for improvement in retirement planning as slightly more than half of the respondents had not developed a plan for retirement savings, the survey found.

Singaporeans will be encouraged, through the campaign, to sign up for complimentary retirement planning workshops and one-to-one financial health clinics.

The Institute for Financial Literacy will hold workshops at locations islandwide to provide comprehensive, step-by-step guidance on how to plan for retirement and deal with inflation.

People can also use the enhanced Financial Health Check tool on the MoneySense website. The five-minute self-assessment provides customised recommendations on improving one's financial health.

Singaporeans can also tap MoneySense's digital financial planning service, MyMoneySense, on its website.

This service allows individuals to automatically consolidate their financial data from government and banks through the Singapore Financial Data Exchange. It also enables Singaporeans to get started on financial planning by providing personalised and actionable guidance.

Those who want more information and handy tips on financial planning can visit the MoneySense website, its Facebook page or Instagram account at @moneysense_sg.

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