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Does early access to pension funds improve health?

July 08, 2020

In a recent study from Singapore, early access to pension wealth was associated with improved health status. The findings are published in Economic Inquiry.

Singapore has a unique policy that allows individuals to withdraw a proportion of their pension savings after their 55th birthday, which relaxes individuals' borrowing constraints. To examine its health impacts, investigators analyzed monthly survey data from 2015 to 2019, comparing individuals' self-reported health status before and after their 55th birthday.

The results indicated that early access to pension wealth improves overall health status. Detailed analyses of underlying mechanisms showed that early access to pension wealth might boost health by improving psychological well-being.

"Since allowing the early partial withdrawal of pension balances does not necessarily increase the fiscal burden of the government, our results imply that flexible access to pension wealth could be a cost-effective policy to improve the health of middle-aged individuals," said co-author Kanghyock Koh, PhD, of Korea University.
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Wiley

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