MHA to complete review of retirement age for uniformed officers in 'next several months'

MHA to complete review of retirement age for uniformed officers in 'next several months'

Singapore police security terrorism MHA
File photo of security personnel patrolling in Singapore. (Photo: MHA)

SINGAPORE: A review into the retirement age for uniformed officers will be completed “in the next several months”, the Ministry of Home Affairs told its officers on Monday (Aug 19).

This comes after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday that Singapore will raise the retirement and re-employment age to 65 and 70, respectively, by 2030.

The current retirement age for uniformed officers is 55 years old. 

READ: NDR 2019: New retirement, re-employment ages of 65 and 70 by 2030; higher CPF contributions for older workers

Uniformed officers are exempted from the Retirement and Re-employment Act due to the “stringent demands of uniformed jobs”, MHA said on Tuesday in response to CNA queries.

These demands include a high level of fitness, agility and ability to withstand physical impact in potential life-threatening and unpredictable environments, it added. 

“MHA periodically reviews the retirement age for Home Affairs uniformed officers to ensure that we are able to meet the manpower requirements of the Home Team, taking into consideration changes in life expectancy and years of healthy living, as well as the ability and desire of our officers to work longer,” the ministry stated.

police officers patrolling singapore file photo
Police officers on patrol in Singapore. (File photo)

In 2013, MHA extended the retirement age of junior officers under the Home Affairs uniformed services from 50 to 55, similar to that of senior officers.

“The Home Team also re-employs uniformed officers, subject to performance, conduct and fitness criteria. We will continue to offer re-employment to as many officers as possible, subject to organisational needs,” MHA added.

Separately, MHA said the 3,800 civilian officers in the Home Team are subject to the Retirement and Re-employment Act and that it will work with the Public Service Division (PSD) to progressively raise their retirement and re-employment ages.

This comes after the PSD said on Monday that it will raise the retirement and re-employment ages of its officers by one year to 63 and 68, respectively, in July 2021. 

READ: PSD to raise retirement, re-employment ages in 2021; more than 2,000 public officers to benefit

RETIREMENT AGES IN THE SAF

The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said in response to queries that the military retirement ages “remain relevant today”.

“As a military with physical demands required to fulfil its mission, the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) retirement ages for military personnel range from 50 for officers, up to 55 for warrant officers and specialists, and up to 60 years old for military experts,” MINDEF said.

“These military retirement ages remain relevant today. They balance the time required to acquire ground experience and expertise against the physical demands of a military career and the SAF’s operational considerations,” MINDEF added.

The SAF and MINDEF review retirement ages regularly to “ensure that the SAF’s operational requirements are met”.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen wrote in a Parliamentary reply in January that officers and other ranks of personnel in the SAF do not adhere to the retirement age of commercial companies and civilian organisations, reiterating that the SAF is a military with physical demands.

“However, the shorter career spans within the SAF is made up by higher remuneration packages as compared to equivalent civilian jobs,” he added.

“In addition, the SAF has specific programmes to prepare personnel for their second careers. Eighty per cent secure jobs within six months of retiring from the SAF.”

Source: CNA/nc(mi)

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