Give Singaporeans priority for re-employment

PM Lee announced in this year's National Day message that retirement and re-employment ages will be raised to help older Singaporeans
PM Lee announced in this year's National Day message that retirement and re-employment ages will be raised to help older SingaporeansPHOTO: ST FILE

It is heartening to read in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's National Day message that retirement and re-employment ages will be raised to help older Singaporeans (PM Lee to deliver National Day Rally speech on Sunday, Aug 12).

While more details are supposed to be released during the National Day Rally, I hope that the retirement age will be raised to at least 65, so as to coincide with the commencement of Central Provident Fund Life payouts.

As for the re-employment age, it should be commensurate with the current five-year difference from the retirement age, and be at least 70. However, raising the re-employment age alone is not enough. The Government should tweak the law to ensure that in the re-employment landscape, Singaporeans are offered employment ahead of non-Singaporeans.

Current regulations do not ensure that. They allow equal opportunities for re-employment of permanent residents and citizens. Why is this so? One needs to question why non-citizens have not committed themselves to Singapore.

Like the Pioneer and Merdeka Generation packages which are only for Singaporeans, is the Government able to give priority to Singaporeans for re-employment?

Perinpanayagam James

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2019, with the headline 'Give Singaporeans priority for re-employment'. Print Edition | Subscribe