Echoing the statements members of his Cabinet made earlier, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong confirmed that the retirement and re-employment age for elderly workers “who wish to work longer” will be raised.
In his National Day message, the PM said that he will share more details on this when he delivers his National Day Rally speech next week.
He said: “To help older Singaporeans, we have protected them for their healthcare and retirement needs. For those who wish to work longer, we will be raising the retirement and the re-employment ages. I will say more about these matters at the National Day Rally.”
The Government set up the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers in March, this year, and the Workgroup has reached a consensus to raise the retirement and reemployment age. The current retirement and reemployment age is 67 years old.
In June, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo reported that there has been good progress in the Workgroup on “how far and how fast we should raise both ages.” Ms Teo and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Ng Chee Meng, said that an official update will be released shortly.
Ms Teo also alluded to older workers wanting to work longer in her announcement. She wrote on social media that she is “encouraged” by the higher life expectancy of Singaporeans before she claimed that “people living longer…is a key reason that they work longer.”
Citing a report that showed that the healthy life expectancy of Singaporeans has risen by 7.2 years to 74.2 years and that life expectancy has risen by 8.7 years to 84.8 years, in the last 27 years, Ms Teo said that this means that “most of the increase in life expectancy for Singaporeans is years of good health.”
Sharing that she is “encouraged” by the report, the People’s Action Party (PAP) politician said: “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.”
Earlier in January, Ms Teo cited trends in other developed countries as she explained why the Government would not lower the minimum Central Provident Fund (CPF) withdrawal age, also known as the Payout Eligibility Age (PEA), at this time.
Asserting that the PEA will remain at age 65, Ms Teo indicated in Parliament that this is because employees seem to prefer to work longer and save more than take out their CPF earlier.
She further hinted that the PEA may instead rise in the future since more than half of the OECD countries have set their pension withdrawal age at 65 or older.
Citing the examples of the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany that are raising their pension withdrawal ages gradually to reach 67 in the next decade, the ruling party politician cautioned: “So against such a backdrop, we must really ask if it is wise to lower our own PEA.”
The Minister drew flak for comparing Singaporeans and Singapore’s system to the people and systems in these “markedly different” nations.