SINGAPORE - Nominated MP Arasu Duraisamy has suggested raising both the retirement and re-employment ages to help older workers stay employed.
Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 26), the veteran unionist said the retirement age can go up from 62 to 65, and the re-employment age from 67 to 70.
"Many of the older workers have told us they are not ready to retire for good," said Mr Arasu, a member of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) central committee.
Some need to support their families, others hope to build up funds for healthcare or retirement, and many say they are still healthy, physically able and want to be gainfully employed, he added.
"The extension of retirement and re-employment age provides certainty to workers who want to continue working, and allows a longer runway for employers to plan for training and upskilling, as well as adapt to digital transformation holistically," Mr Arasu said.
More than 20 companies, including Gardens by the Bay, have moved the retirement age to 65, and some have no contractual retirement age.
"From time to time, the labour movement also receives appeals from workers seeking assistance to extend their re-employment contracts," he said "I urge the civil service and other government-linked companies to quickly take the lead."
Mr Arasu also spoke on the importance of training workers, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which may struggle to send staff for training.
Older workers in their 50s may also feel that it is not necessary to go for training, as their career runway is shorter, he said.
"We need to change their mindset and help educate them that training and skills upgrading are necessary for them to remain relevant," Mr Arasu said. "In view of digital transformation and ageing workforce, ensuring that both SMEs and their workers are pro-training is especially important."
Correction note: This article has been edited for accuracy