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“Treat our ageing workforce as an opportunity and not a burden” Minister Teo

The Independent logo The Independent 23/8/2019 Shech
Josephine Teo sitting on a table © The Independent Singapore

Singapore — Manpower Minister Josephine Teo expounded on government’s announcements regarding the raising of retirement age and CPF contributions during the annual dinner of the Economic Society of Singapore on Thursday (Aug 22) held at the Mandarin Orchard hotel.

Minister Teo stated that by regarding the older workforce as “an opportunity and not a burden,” people are allowed to contribute to society “as long as they wish.”

She emphasized the value of work on the individual, saying that “The engagement, relationships and sense of purpose derived from work contribute to the health of older workers.”

“We allocate resources and update policy to support this choice,” she said as quoted in an initial report by The Straits Times.

By July 2022, the retirement age will increase gradually from 62 to 63 years. The final adjustment to age 65 is expected to be applied by 2030.

She added that every sector has a role to play in the adjustment timeline. Employers are expected to “develop inclusive workforces and progressive workplaces.”

The Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers recommended a “package of wage offsets” to alleviate the effects of the retirement and re-employment adjustments such as the increase of CPF contributions for older workers.

“Each time the CPF rate is adjusted, too, transition support will also be provided,” she added.

Minister Teo reiterated the two initial adjustment dates: Jan 1, 2021 for the first CPF rate hike and July 1, 2022 for the retirement and re-employment age.

In closing, Minister Teo said that the Retirement and Re-employment Act provides legal protection for older workers from being prematurely dismissed by employers.

“But it does not take away an older worker’s freedom to stop working any time he or she wishes,” she said./TISG

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