Singapore—Coming on the heels of the announcement from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in last Sunday’s (August 18) National Day Rally Speech that by 2030 the retirement and re-employment age will be raised to 65 and 70, the Ministry of Home Affairs said to its uniformed officers that it will be reviewing its retirement age in the ‘next several months.’
At present, the retirement age for a uniformed officer is 55 years old.
According to a report from Channel NewsAsia (CNA), because of “stringent demands of uniformed jobs”, uniformed officers do not fall under the Retirement and Re-employment Act.
The MHA told CNA that some of these demands are physical fitness, agility, and the ability to endure situations that are possibly life-threatening and unpredictable.
According to MHA, it “periodically reviews the retirement age for Home Affairs uniformed officers to ensure that we are able to meet the manpower requirements of the Home Team, taking into consideration changes in life expectancy and years of healthy living, as well as the ability and desire of our officers to work longer.”
Some six years ago, the retirement age of junior officers under the Home Affairs uniformed services was raised from 50 to 55. This matched the retirement age of senior officers.
The Ministry also told CNA, “The Home Team also re-employs uniformed officers, subject to performance, conduct and fitness criteria. We will continue to offer re-employment to as many officers as possible, subject to organisational needs.”
There are 3,800 civilian officers in the Home Team. They qualify under the Retirement and Re-employment Act. The MHA says that it will collaborate with the Public Service Division (PSD) for the progressive raising of their retirement and re-employment ages.
On Monday, the PSD said that by July 2021, it will be increasing the current retirement age of its officers by one year to 63, and the re-employment age by one year as well, to 68.
Meanwhile, when asked about retirement ages for military personnel, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has aid that the military retirement ages “remain relevant today”.
“As a military with physical demands required to fulfil its mission, the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) retirement ages for military personnel range from 50 for officers, up to 55 for warrant officers and specialists, and up to 60 years old for military experts.
These military retirement ages remain relevant today. They balance the time required to acquire ground experience and expertise against the physical demands of a military career and the SAF’s operational considerations.”
Both the MINDEF and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) say that they undergo regular reviews to their retirement ages to make sure that “the SAF’s operational requirements are met”.
In January, Ng Eng Hen, the country’s Defence Minister, said that the officers and other personnel of the SAF are not subject to the retirement age of commercial companies and civilian organisations, because of the high physical demands placed on the military.
He said in Parliament, “However, the shorter career spans within the SAF is made up by higher remuneration packages as compared to equivalent civilian jobs.
In addition, the SAF has specific programmes to prepare personnel for their second careers. Eighty percent secure jobs within six months of retiring from the SAF.”/ TISG
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