Older workers must be role models for younger ones

A porter manouvers a cart loaded with luggage at Changi Airport Terminal 1.
A porter manouvers a cart loaded with luggage at Changi Airport Terminal 1.PHOTO: ST FILE

It is inevitable for the retirement age to be raised (Retirement age and CPF rates for older workers to go up, Aug 19).

There are no alternatives, considering Singapore's abysmally low birth rates, the continued slow progress in ratcheting up productivity and the antipathy towards immigration.

Many countries with a less severe ageing population problem already set retirement at age 65, and Japan is considering retirement at 70 to 75 years.

Too early a retirement without adequate savings and prudent financial planning, coupled with the world's longest lifespan encumbered by rising morbidity and medical costs, will cause regret and recrimination.

But older workers should realise that by staying on, they are actually depriving the next generation the opportunity of being promoted.

Younger hands full of vim and bursting with ideas may resent senior colleagues who have become deadwood in their organisations, and set in their ways, holding back progress and evolution.

If they are to contribute meaningfully, old operatives must play role models, sharing their knowledge and familiarity of the organisation, to make newer members more effective, including building business contacts and inculcating company loyalty.

Bad attitudes by older workers, such as watching the young blood commit the errors that they did while they talk of the good old days, will make extended employment meaningless.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2019, with the headline 'Older workers must be role models for younger ones'. Print Edition | Subscribe