MP moots scrapping retirement age

SINGAPORE- Removing the statutory retirement age of 62 and restoring CPF employer contribution rates for workers aged 50 and above will drive home the message that age is no barrier to productive employment, Mr David Ong (Jurong GRC) said yesterday.

Senior Minister of State for Manpower Amy Khor said in turn that the Government has adopted two key strategies to tackle the challenges of an ageing workforce. These involve expanding employment opportunities for older workers and shaping positive mindsets towards them.

There are schemes to encourage such attitudes, such as the Workfare Income Supplement, which encourages older workers to stay employed, and WorkPro, a fund that employers can tap to hire and retain more back-to-work Singaporeans.

Mr Ong, who made an adjournment motion to raise the issue of aged workers in Parliament, said the statutory retirement age should not be a barrier to active ageing.

"Workers should be given the flexibility to choose how long they want to work, or when they wish to retire," he added.

But Dr Khor said the minimum age in fact protects workers below 62 from being dismissed on the basis of age. "It is not meant to, and it does not impede people from working beyond 62," she said.

Mr Ong said reduced CPF employer contribution rates for older workers were "discriminatory".

Dr Khor agreed it was "timely" to review the rates, but said this should be done carefully so as not to affect their employability.

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