Increased Retirement Age for Singapore Public Sector
Singapore's Civil Service will kick-start the implementation of the tripartite guidelines on re-employment of older employees from July next year.
Public sector employees reaching the retirement age of 62 will be offered the opportunity to stay on in the job until the age of 65 at least. With its headcount of 124,000 officers, the public service accounts for about 4 per cent of Singapore's 3.05-million-strong workforce. The above was forecasted in our SDS eNewsletter vol 11 issued on 16 Apr 2010, where we highlighted Singapore's emphasis on elderly-friendly work practices.
In Singapore, hiring of older workers can be an answer to some of the talent shortage situations that exist here. It is not uncommon to hear of companies that cannot find the right talent or people with the right attitude who can hit the ground running. Experienced and mature workers can help overcome these hiring obstacles. However, not all organisations will jump at the chance to hire older workers. Perceptions still exist, for example, that older workers being unable to change, or being less productive, or being more difficult to manage than their younger counterparts. The Ministry of Manpower has encourage companies relentlessly to hire and benefit from older workers - whether through specific programmes or guidance on how to successfully integrate mature employees at the workplace.
Is There A Need For A Retirement Age?
By year 2020, 19 per cent of Singapore's labour force will be 55 years or older. Employers will have a crucial role to play in how they will structure employment for such workers. Would new initiatives be needed then for the retirement age is to be further raised?
The concept of retirement comes from a time when, for those in manual jobs, life expectancy after retirement was limited to only a few years - something now unseen in the modern societies that we inhabit. Most of today's children do not finish their studies until they reach their mid-20s, and subsequently start their careers and families late. In addition, life expectancy is higher today, which makes some wonder if there should be an age set for retirement. We have people today who are more than willing to work beyond the retirement age, either due to financial reasons or simply due to being a workaholic who deems retirement as unacceptable. As such, should there even be a retirement age? And should we, in fact, retire at all?
Incidentally, at the opposite end of the stick, Bolivia recently decided to drop their retirement age to 58. In Bolivia, the previous retirement age was 65 for men, and 60 for women.