Singapore’s re-employment age to be raised to 67 next year

Author: PM editorial | Date: 13 Apr 2016

New legislation deals with challenge of an ageing workforce, and allows senior employees to keep working if they wish

Employers in Singapore will be legally obliged to offer re-employment up to the age of 67 from 1 July 2017.
 
The raise goes two years beyond the current re-employment age of 65 for eligible workers, and is seen as a move to manage the country’s ageing workforce.
 
“The proportion of residents in the labour force aged 50 and above is about one-third now, up from about one-quarter a decade ago, said Sam Tan, minister of state for manpower, speaking at the Committee of Supply 2016. “This trend will continue over the next two decades; and we must be prepared to accept and embrace this new reality, and turn it into opportunity.”
 
Legislation allowing wage cuts of up to 10 per cent for employees over 60 – to make them ‘more competitive’ – will also be removed from law. But ministry of manpower statistics say 98 per cent of organisations have already made the choice not to reduce salaries after 60.
 
There is flexibility in the re-employment law, meaning that organisations can help staff find work with a different employer if they agree to it.
 
“One common statement we hear is that seniors want to have meaningful jobs that tap on their wealth of experience and expertise,” said Tan. So if an organisation doesn’t have the right role for a senior employee, they may be able to help them find a similar job within another company.
 
To smooth the transition to the new re-employment age, the government’s wage offset of three per cent for employers who re-employ older workers above 65 will be extended to 1 July 2017.