By: Leong Sze Hian
I refer to the article “Reversing ageing: Are we smothering seniors into helplessness?” (Channel NewsAsia, Dec 26).
“As its population ages, Singapore is ramping up healthcare facilities and elderly-friendly infrastructure. But is it missing out on something equally critical in the ageing game?
“A new four-part documentary series which premieres on Boxing Day (Dec 26), Turn Back The Clock takes a critical look at how our attitudes, expectations and environment affect the way that seniors age…
“… hope that Singaporeans would face ageing with optimism.
“It is really about mind over matter,” he said. “Yes, infrastructure needs to be there, but that’s really more like a hygiene factor. It’s necessary, but insufficient. What is actually more important is the right attitude, and care and concern coming from within.””
40,000 elderly low-pay cleaners?
In this connection, there are about 40,000 cleaners – mostly elderly locals (Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) earning a median basic pay of just $1,000 (“Food and beverage establishment cleaner (eg restaurants, food courts, hawker centres)”).
40,000 elderly low-pay security guards?
I understand that there are also about 40,000 security guards who are mostly elderly locals earning a median basic pay of just $1,100, who typically work 12 hours a day for six days a week.
How many more low-pay elderly?
And there may probably be tens of thousands of elderly locals working in other jobs for low pay too.
Real wages drop from age 37 to 20% less than when they were at age 25, by age 65?
According to the study on retirement adequacy (“ADEQUACY OF SINGAPORE’S CENTRAL PROVIDENT FUND PAYOUTS: INCOME REPLACEMENT RATES OF ENTRANT WORKERS”) commissioned by the Government in November 2012 – the graph on page 6 – the real growth in wages at the 30th percentile of income male workers – starts to decline from around age 37 until by age 65 – they are earning about 20% less than what they were getting at age 25!
Age 50 and over worse hit?
The latest Ministry of Manpower labour report says that those age 50 and over now form the highest proportion by age – of the long-term unemployed.
Widespread age discrimination?
Are there any developed or developing countries in the world that has such “pathetic” statistics indicating age discrimination in jobs and low pay of the elderly?