Link between retirement age and CPF payout eligibility needs to be clearer

Senior office workers seen at Singapore financial district.
Senior office workers seen at Singapore financial district.PHOTO: ST FILE

All Singaporeans facing retirement over the next 10 years will be concerned about the impact of the retirement age on their finances (Singaporeans should retire at 70, says Mercer boss, March 31).

At present, there is an ongoing discussion on raising the retirement and re-employment age, with the Government agreeing to maintain at age 65 the opt-in arrangement for CPF payout eligibility.

The authorities should clarify two points to let citizens make an informed choice.

First, a temporary freeze on payout eligibility buys time, not assurance.

The Government should clarify its policy stand on the link between retirement age and payout eligibility.

Second, raising the retirement and re-employment ages should be accompanied with a significant and measurable commitment from public and private employers to cater more of their budget towards making such an adjustment.

In the absence of these, most employers would likely use tools such as restructuring to refresh their talent pool.

Furthermore, it is unclear at this stage how the Government will balance the need for a dynamic, Smart Nation economy while keeping older workers employed at the same level of seniority and pay.

Bernard Lim Tiong Hien

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2019, with the headline 'Link between retirement age and CPF payout eligibility needs to be clearer'. Print Edition | Subscribe