Range of schemes to keep older workers employed

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

We thank Mr Bernard Lim Tiong Hien for his views on retirement issues (Link between retirement age and CPF payout eligibility needs to be clearer, April 4).

Today, Central Provident Fund (CPF) members can instruct the CPF Board to start their monthly retirement payouts at any time from the age of 65. This is independent of the statutory minimum retirement age of 62 or the re-employment age of 67.

It was announced last month that the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers has come to a consensus that both the retirement and re-employment ages should be raised in small steps. Also, the CPF payout eligibility age remains at 65.

Mr Lim was concerned about how to balance the need for a dynamic, smart nation economy while keeping older workers employed at the same level of seniority and pay.

This involves helping all workers keep their skills relevant at every stage of their careers through the SkillsFuture initiative.

Older workers also receive more support under the Adapt and Grow initiative to transit to new occupations or industries, so that they can continue to stay in employment or progress in their careers.

Equally important, wage levels should reflect job size and competence more than seniority, and wage increases should not move unsustainably ahead of productivity growth.

The current situation in Singapore is encouraging. Employment among seniors has risen steadily while unemployment has remained low.

Although employers and older workers may mutually agree on adjustments to jobs and salaries, well over 90 per cent of those who are re-employed have also retained the same job and pay.

We should build on these foundations. The Government will continue to support senior employment through a range of schemes.

Lim Tze Jiat

Director, Employment Standards & International Relations

Workplace Policy and Strategy Division

Ministry of Manpower

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2019, with the headline 'Range of schemes to keep older workers employed'. Print Edition | Subscribe