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Manpower Minister Josephine Teo announces update on retirement age will happen before September

The Independent logo The Independent 4 days ago Anna Maria Romero
a group of people looking at a laptop © Facebook screengrab/ Josephine Teo

Singapore — Josephine Teo, the country’s Manpower Minister, announced via her Facebook account on June 11, Tuesday, that an update concerning Singapore’s Retirement Age and Re-employment Age will be coming before September.

The Manpower Minister uploaded her post while in Geneva, Switzerland, where she is attending the International Labour Conference.

MAKING LONGEVITY PRODUCTIVE FOR BOTH WORKERS AND EMPLOYERSRead the front page report in yesterday's Lianhe Zaobao…

Posted by Josephine Teo on Monday, 10 June 2019

In her post, Ms Teo referenced an article on June 10 from Chinese-language Lianhe Zaobao, wherein it was stated that the healthy life expectancy of Singaporeans has risen by more than 7 years in the past 27 years, and is now at 74.2 years. Moreover, life expectancy, in general, has risen by 8.7 years to 84.8 years.

Ms Teo wrote, “This means that most of the increase in life expectancy for Singaporeans is years of good health.”

She said that she felt “encouraged” by this.

“People living longer and generally healthier lives is a key reason that they work longer – this is a trend that we observed across many developed countries. It reminds me of why we set up the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers.”

In March, Ms Teo announced that Tripartite leaders had reached a consensus to raise the Retirement Age and Re-employment Age. The specifics of their agreement have yet to be published, but the Manpower Minister remarked “I’m glad there’s been very good progress and a meeting of minds on how far and how fast we should raise both ages. Besides attending the ILC together, there were many working discussions between the Tripartite leaders on implementation details, including support to employers.”

She said that the working relations between the three sectors of government, unions, and employers has been productive, and has not devolved into “the kind of bickering we sometimes see elsewhere.”

“Instead, we have been able to focus on making longevity productive for both workers and employers.”

Ms Teo ended her post with writing that there are only a few details left. “As a result, there are now just a few more loose ends to tie up. I am now confident that we can provide an update to the public before September this year.”

In her May Day Message this year, Ms Teo called the tripartite consensus to raise the retirement age and re-employment age beyond 62 and 67 a “significant milestone,” as it will serve senior citizens who want to keep on working.

Ms Teo said in her address, “I am confident it will motivate both workers and employers to invest in skills upgrading and job redesign for older workers.”

The Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers had been formed in May 2018 for the purpose of examining whether the present ages for retirement and re-employment need adjustments and to look at the impact of CPF contribution rates when it comes to the retirement adequacy of older workers.

Ms Teo said that recommendations will be released by the tripartite group and will include  details on how quickly and how far retirement and reemployment ages should be raised, and also recommendations for CPF contribution rates for employees who are 55 years old and above.

She encouraged employers to make businesses better adapted to older workers. The Manpower Ministry will be reviewing the WorkPro and Special Employment Credit schemes in light of this, she added.

However, she also said that the Government also plans to address current issues—especially helping upskill workers with technology to ensure that they get good employment.

“We will walk the tech journey with our workers so that they can access good jobs our economy continues to create. Measures to tighten foreign workforce controls will keep up the pace of restructuring, and nudge employers to improve job quality to meet staffing needs. Technology will also change the jobs landscape, presenting both challenges and opportunities.”/ TISG

Read related: Josephine Teo: Consensus to raise ages for retirement and re-employment beyond 62 and 67 a “significant milestone”

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