SINGAPORE: Latest statistics released by the Ministry of Manpower have revealed that the labor force participation rate among residents aged 60 to 64 in Singapore has reached its highest level since 2012.
According to the data from the Ministry’s annual report, the labor force participation rate for this age group has risen from approximately 58 per cent in 2012 to the current 67 per cent. The rate for residents aged 65 to 69 stands at nearly 50 per cent, meaning half of the senior citizens in this age bracket are still working.
The increase in labor force participation among older residents is seen as a positive trend by some HR analysts, who believe that employing older staff can enhance a company’s reputation. The experience and loyalty demonstrated by older employees who have stayed with a company for a significant period of time are seen as valuable assets that can contribute to the success of the organization.
Some analysts also attribute this upward trend to the government’s proactive policies aimed at encouraging older individuals to remain in the workforce.
In recent years, the Singaporean government has implemented various measures to promote the employment of older workers and create comfortable working environments tailored to their needs. These initiatives include flexible work arrangements, age-friendly workplace practices, and retraining programs to equip older employees with updated skills.
However, critics have raised concerns about whether the rising labor force participation rate among seniors is solely driven by choice or if it is influenced by financial pressures resulting from the high cost of living. They question whether senior citizens are forced to continue working to cope with their financial obligations.
The cost of living in Singapore has indeed been rising steadily over the years, with inflation affecting various aspects of daily life, including housing, healthcare, and transportation. This inflationary pressure can place a financial burden on retirees, potentially driving them to seek employment opportunities to supplement their retirement savings.
Additionally, the rising life expectancy in Singapore has led to longer retirement periods, increasing the need for financial security during these extended years. With increased life expectancy comes a greater reliance on personal savings and retirement funds, which may not be sufficient for some individuals.
Critics argue that while the government’s efforts to encourage older workers are commendable, more comprehensive measures are necessary to address the root causes of financial strain among senior citizens.
These measures could include enhanced social security benefits, affordable healthcare options, and increased support for retirement planning and financial literacy programs.