a community of singaporeans

Raising retirement age

Posted by theonlinecitizen on July 19, 2007

This is a letter from one of our visitors, Siew91.

The Singapore government’s rationale to raise the retirement age of Singapore workers to 62 years of age is because we live longer and many of us might not have enough money to retire.

While this may be true, the government has ignored the fact that many workers are culled in their workplace well before they reach retirement age.

Though there are no official figures on the number of older people without job, it is public knowledge that once you lose your job after the age of 40, you will have a hard time finding a new one. This is especially true for managerial and some professional jobs. Most people downgrade or take up contract work.

While lifting the retirement age, the government should at the same time try protecting older workers against ageist employment practices which even the public sector is guilty of. Ageist employment practices include hiring, firing and training of people on the basis of age.

Age discrimination in workplace should be eradicated because it harms the self-esteem of workers. And for workers who lost their job because of age and subsequently can’t find work at all there is often a serious impact on their mental well-being.

Ageism also spawns job insecurity which precipitates a brain drain to countries where ageist employment practices are not as acute. Brain drain is of course injurious to any country in this highly competitive world.

Our society is ageing and in the future we will need to utilize all the skills and experience of our entire workforce, both young and old, to give us the strength the global economy demands.

Finally, the government must eradicate ageism because it amounts to marginalization. With the number of older people increasing so will be the number of unhappy, marginalized voters.

Read also:

How to stay gainfully retired by Yeo Toon Joo

Retire later, die earlier by Yeo Toon Joo



6 Responses to “Raising retirement age”

  1. Digits said

    “Our society is ageing and in the future we will need to utilize ALL the skills and experience of our entire workforce, both young and old, to give us the strength the global economy demands.”

    Given a choice, most will want to retire or earned that option to do something meaningful( may or may not involve wage). That usually means financial freedom.

    I am sure, many are working towards that.

    In an economy heavily dependant on human resources couple with a small an aging population, you need to get them in debts or a lifetime of financial obligations in order to retain their services beyond their desired retirement age.

    Otherwise, ta ta and the high maintenance economy and country may just grind to a halt or…………

  2. Y K said

    Very true. However, perhaps when the Government says jobs are available (which are in abundance) they meant cleaners, toilet attendants, fast food “slow work” aunties and uncles for those without paper qualifications, however they may have a lifetime experience having gone through the university of hard knocks.

    It is an established fact that paper qualification is a must in certain professions, however there are industries where experience still knock out paper qualifications such as the travel and food industry.

    It would be ideal to have perhaps a ratio of 70% younger well educated workers with 30% older, less paper qualifications but heaps of experience.

    These 30% can than serve as “mentors” to the young who with their educational background and if coupled with the right attitude will be able to garner as much as possible the “beneficial experience” from these “mentors”.

    These “mentors” on the other hand must have good work attitude to start with otherwise it will be a disaster as some may have gone senile.

    To the employers including the Government, remember “YOU TOO CAN GROW OLD”.

  3. Numb Already said

    All these talk about getting employers to hire old workers; how about the Gahmen themselves? Are they setting an example? Are there any statistics showing that the civil service themselves are hiring older workers? If so, wat’s the breakdown of these “older” new hires in the last few years (in terms of age groups, educational qualifications, etc)? Easy to keep asking the MacDonalds, KFC’s and Kopitiams to hire the aunties and uncles. During the 2002, 2003 “retrenchment” years, many unemployed professionals had tried to apply to the civil service. Wat’s the success rate? Many CDCs and whatever C’s set up all sorts of job search help services, but how many of these unemployed were actually placed in the civil service? How about they give us some data to show us that they are setting an example.

  4. David said

    Retired ?
    you must be dreaming. You can also expire in Singapore not retired !

  5. Lai CF said

    “All these talk about getting employers to hire old workers; how about the Gahmen themselves?”

    My personal experience?

    This year, I wrote to TWO of the biggest GLC in SIngapore. Offered to be posted in Middle East and India.
    No reply.

    I wrote to TWO Hong Kong companies?
    1) Shortlisted by one….but I declined the “offer”.
    2) On the waiting list on the other; subject to them securing a mega-project.
    3) Keep in view on aJapanese company; subject o securing a mega-project as well.

    Moral of the Story?

    There is no place for the over-50s professional in GLC as they are staffed by “Superscale G” in their 30s and 40s.

    My only recourse on securing a decent paying job in the construction industry is “networking” and headhunters from Hong Kong and Middle East.

    How ironic that I heard Government is complaining that si a “shortage of cosntruction personnel” in SIngpaore booming construciton idnustry and I am “unwanted” in SIngapore…and needs to work in Dubai and Macau.

  6. Lai CF said

    I don’t think Ic an ever retired in SIngapore.

    I intend to work till I am 70s or mroe, jsut to be able to pay for my 6-figure medical bills when I am chroncially-illed in my 80s (if I live that long).

    The idea is to break that Vicious Cycle of “Sandwiched Generation” as I do not wish to be a “financial burden” to my children in shouldering part of my 6-figure medical bill.

    Filial Piety?
    Just another con-job by PAP Goverment to dodge the issue of “social welfarism” for those ageing baby-boomers borned in the 40s to 60s. Taht is, liek thos “Chinese grocer cum landlord” int eh 50s and 60s….the chidlren of the family is expected to honor the debts racked up by their parents…

    And of course, Iw elcome Lee Hsien Loong’s speech on “not to prolong life” as I think maybe SIngpaore Euthanasia Centre may very well on the card to mitigate our ever-rising medical costs incurred by MOH.

    Like e.g. S$2-billion budget to MOH and S$10-billion to MINDEF.

    WHy allocate more to those that are dying and “going to die” anyway?

    Why not give MIDNEF another S$1-billion or more so that we can always have an extremely impressive NAtioanl Day Match-Pass, broadcast to world-wide audience.

    Almost like Gilgamesh’s proud proclamaiton to Gods:


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