MOM addresses contentious issue of retirement

A tripartite workgroup is meeting this week to review Singapore's retirement and re-employment ages

MOM addresses contentious issue of retirement

The Singapore government has long debated the issue of retirement and re-employment, with a committee even formed earlier this year to assess whether the country should completely do away with the statutory age.

This week, the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers is meeting for the first time to discuss the possible review of Singapore’s retirement age, said manpower minister Josephine Teo.

Teo said the issue needs to be relooked at as Singaporeans are living longer and standards of living are improving, raising concern over whether they would have enough to retire on.

The minister had asked the workgroup to discuss whether changes need to be made to Singapore’s retirement age of 62 and re-employment age of up to 67. They will also review the best time to amend the age.

Singapore’s retirement age has been fixed at 62 for the past two decades. The re-employment age, however, was raised from 65 to 67 last year.

Minister Teo and NTUC’s secretary-general Ng Chee Meng are advisors to the workgroup.

Last week, speaking at an event, Ng had called on more employers to voluntarily raise the retirement age of their workers beyond the statutory requirement of 62.

A raised retirement age will allow older workers to continue working, earn an income and contribute, he said.

“[Older workers] have experience and are valuable assets. Employers should value and re-employ our older workers,” he added.

His comments had drawn flak from local netizens, however. Some have said that even though raising the retirement age is meant to benefit older workers, they are usually cast aside because younger staff typically demand lower salaries.

NTUC will be working with the workgroup to consider issues affecting older workers, including the need for adjustments to employment terms of re-employed workers, reported the Straits Times.

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