Re-employment a zero-sum game?

While it is laudable that we extend the re-employment age of older workers, we need to consider its impact on those entering the job market and those who have a young family to support or who have recently been retrenched ("The new age of re-employment"; Jan 13).

The Singapore labour market is finite in size. Every place an elderly worker continues to occupy in a company is one place less for younger folk seeking a job.

At the middle and higher hierarchy of the management, there is a need for fresh leaders to move up. Mandatory retention of older folk limits the mobility of fresh talents and, eventually, harms everybody in the company and, by extension, the economy as a whole.

While the Government has a social responsibility to provide meaningful occupation for those above 60, it has an equally heavy responsibility, if not heavier, to ensure that our young are not left out in the cold.

Our talent pool is small; we need to secure the brightest and provide upward mobility for the deserving.

The young, when gainfully employed, can look after the old (an Asian value), but the reverse is not socially acceptable or practical.

Lim Soon Heng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2017, with the headline 'Re-employment a zero-sum game?'. Print Edition | Subscribe