An ageing population can be productive
DR KANWALJIT Soin ("Riding the changing age curve"; yesterday) offered our nation's planners for 2030 a practical solution to Singapore's productivity, competitiveness, low birth rate and ageing population problems.
She recommends re-employing experienced retirees. This is a win-win solution for both Singapore and seniors.
If we can get just one-tenth of the 900,000 people who will be aged 65 or older in 2030 to continue working, the need for increasingly large numbers of foreign workers, and the accompanying social problems, can be greatly reduced.
Planners should not only take the quantitative scenarios of 2030 into account, but also consider the qualitative aspects.
Dr Soin did hint at this - the over-65s in 2030 will be healthier and more active than today's over-65s.
There is a general acceptance that people in their 70s today are like the 50-somethings of past generations.
So planning for these seniors to continue working requires an understanding of their lifestyles and aspirations.
Many of us no longer need to work to put food on the table. Our needs have also become simpler. But working and remaining active will contribute to our sense of well-being.
We need a different system of compensation and motivation.
How this is executed will determine whether companies will be successful in luring seniors back to work. This calls for an integrated plan to accommodate seniors participating in Singapore's future success.
Reverse Co-operative Ltd
FORUM NOTE: Reverse stands for Re-Empower Valuable Economic Resources of Seniors and Elders