Workers may get to work till 67

SINGAPORE - Older workers could soon opt to work till age 67.

The Government is looking into raising the re-employment age ceiling by another two years, Senior Minister of State for Manpower Amy Khor said in Parliament on Friday.

She was replying to Mr Heng Chee How (Whampoa), the National Trades Union Congress' deputy secretary-general and Senior Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, during the debate on the Ministry of Manpower budget on Friday.

He asked for a time frame for the age extension so that companies can plan for the change.

But Dr Khor said the ministry would announce the details, "including the appropriate time frame for raising the re-employment age", when it is ready.

Since January 2012, companies have been required by law to rehire workers aged between 62 and 65, provided they are healthy and their work performance is satisfactory.

Dr Khor said its implementation "has been smooth". An official survey found that private-sector companies rehired nearly all who turned 62 last year.

Two in three workers did not suffer pay cuts, she added.

But the Government is not relying solely on legislation to support the employment of older workers, she said.

A committee of unions, companies and government officials has been formed and it will run programmes to coax employers to hire older workers by highlighting, among other things, their positive attributes and the experience they bring to the company.

Dr Khor also touched on the Central Provident Fund minimum sum in her reply.

She assured the House that there will be no further changes any time soon to the "real" value of the sum, which now stands at $148,000.

The amount is the minimum that workers must set aside for their retirement when they turn 55. It has been rising steadily since 2003 to take inflation into account.

Any changes to it will be for inflation purposes, said Dr Khor.

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.