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Singapore Government secures re-employment opportunities for old workers

Amid the tight labour market and tripartite efforts at promoting re-employment, Singapore government offered nearly all the local employees retiring in 2011 and who are beyond 62 years of age with employment opportunities. This was reported by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) obtained from the survey conducted in the last quarter of 2011.

MOM also reported that nearly eight in ten private establishments had implemented measures to allow their local employees to work beyond 62 in 2011, ahead of the implementation of the re-employment legislation, which was implemented in January of this year.

Singapore’s Re-employment Legislation aims to enable more people to continue working beyond the current statutory retirement age of 62, up to 65 in the first instance and, later, up to 67. In 2007, the Singapore government decided to introduce re-employment legislation by 2012. As Singapore’s resident workforce ages, the objective of re-employment is to provide workers with the opportunity to work longer so that they can continue to contribute to their organization, earn a regular income and build up their retirement adequacy. At the same time, it provides employers with the flexibility to continue to tap on the contribution of their experienced older employees.The Tripartite Implementation Workgroup on Older Workers (TIWG) issued the Tripartite Guidelines on Re-employment of Older Employees in March 2010. Following subsequent consultations with employers and employees and unions on the re-employment legislation in 2010, the tripartite partners updated the Guidelines to incorporate feedback and suggestions received.

According to MOM, Singapore’s population and workforce rapidly ages, as such, there is an urgent need to tap into the valuable skills and experience of older employees. MOM already encouraged employers to implement the guidelines even before re-employment legislation came in effect this year. Employees were urged to be flexible in working out re-employment arrangements with their employers so that they can continue to contribute to their organisations and earn a regular income. “This move prepared both parties for the new legislation, provided employment opportunities to employees beyond the statutory retirement age, and raised the effective retirement age of employees in Singapore,” MOM said.