Three out of four older workers in Singapore do not intend to retire until age 65; reasons include staying active, having a purpose

SINGAPORE, July 3 (The Straits Times/ANN): Three out of four older workers in Singapore do not intend to stop working until they turn 65.

According to research commissioned by The Sunday Times, the top reasons for wanting to stay employed are to stay active, have a purpose, maintain social ties and save for old age.

As of last Friday (July 1), the retirement age for workers in Singapore has been raised from 62 to 63 and the re-employment age from 67 to 68. This is part of a gradual increase to deal with an aging workforce, with the retirement age set at 65 and the re-employment age at 70 by 2030.

Observers said raising the age of retirement and re-employment will push more employers to tap into the pool of older talent amid a growing global talent shortage.

In Singapore, employers must offer to rehire eligible workers when they reach retirement age. This re-employment model has worked well for businesses and older workers, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said.

Since the model was introduced in 2012, more than 90% of eligible resident employees who wanted to continue working have been offered re-employment at age 62. .

MOM encourages companies to adopt higher retirement and re-employment ages than legal requirements through efforts such as the Senior Worker Early Adopter Grant that provides financial support.

By May, more than 5,200 companies had successfully applied for the subsidy and pledged to raise their internal age limits, the ministry said. This has benefited over 44,000 older workers.

David Leong, chief executive of human resources firm PeopleWorldwide Consulting, said some older people need to work because they may not have family support, while others do it to pass the time.

Linda Teo, Country Director of ManpowerGroup Singapore, said: “As Singapore has an aging workforce, lifting age limits will help retain skilled older workers. train new employees.

The ST-commissioned study interviewed 172 workers aged 60 and over. The survey was conducted by consumer research firm Milieu Insight last month.

Respondents continue to worry that older workers will take advantage of opportunities, find it difficult to adapt to new technologies and may not be able to work long hours for personal or health reasons.

In recent years, more and more employers have tried to create an age-friendly workplace, for example by redesigning jobs and adopting flexible arrangements.

The civil service – Singapore’s biggest employer – took the initiative to raise the retirement age to 63 and offer re-employment to eligible officers until they turned 68 from last July – a year before the national calendar.

It has stepped up efforts to help its officers stay relevant, including redesigning jobs, reskilling staff, implementing job rotations and focusing on occupational health, the Civil Service Division said. . “Our agents can also use internal career coaching services,” he added.

Other employers also adopted the revised age limits earlier.

On Cheong Jewellery, for example, has nine employees over the age of 65. To support older workers, the jewelry company redesigned jobs to embrace technology, offered flexible work arrangements, and provided them with training and development opportunities.

Its general manager, Ho Nai Chuen, said: “As long as the employees worked satisfactorily, they were allowed to continue working beyond the retirement age, until they were physically unfit for work.”

Shangri-La Hotel training manager Joshua Navin said mature workers are experienced and therefore an integral part of its operations. They also have a good work ethic, which serves as a good example to their younger colleagues, he added.

The hotel has 42 employees over the age of 65, or 5% of its workforce. He kept older workers on the same pay and benefits even after they switched to annual contracts after retirement.

Older workers believe they offer rich skills that cannot be learned from textbooks.

William Yeo, who has been with the People’s Association for 41 years, said: “I will listen carefully (to my juniors) and share with them the experiences I have gained.”

The 62-year-old Deputy Constituency Director of Bedok Reservoir-Punggol added, “I am also learning from them as they will share with me how I can use technology, such as virtual meeting software or social media.” .

June Ang, 63, senior accounts assistant at Warren Golf and Country Club, who prefers to work to stay connected and keep her mind active, said: “As long as I am healthy, I will continue to work and contribute.” – The Straits Times/ANN

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