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Singapore

9 in 10 older workers continued to be employed beyond age of 62

In a written reply to parliament, Deputy Prime Minister and Manpower Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said there were some 11,500 older workers in the year ending June last year in private establishments.

SINGAPORE: Over nine in 10 older Singaporean workers continued to be employed beyond the age 62.

In a written reply to parliament, Deputy Prime Minister and Manpower Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said there were some 11,500 older workers in the year ending June last year in private establishments with at least 25 employees.

This was based on a survey on the Retirement and Re-employment Practices in Singapore in the fourth quarter of 2011.

MP for West Coast GRC Foo Mee Har had wanted to know what proportion of these re-employed workers suffers a reduction in pay and benefits despite being retained to perform the same jobs.

Mr Tharman said nearly two-thirds of these workers had carried on working on their existing employment terms, while about 30 per cent were re-employed under a new contract.

Of this latter group, 96 per cent or almost all had no change in their job scope.

For all employees who continued working in the same job beyond 62, 95 per cent or almost all were paid at least the same wages.

The same survey also found that about one in 10 private establishments, which allowed re-employment in the same job or allowed their employees to carry on working on their existing terms, had a policy of making adjustments to the employment benefits of their employees, such as the provision of annual leave and medical benefits.

Mr Tharman said the high proportion of workers who continued to be employed beyond the age of 62 last year in the same job, and paid at least the same wages, is likely to be the result of the tight labour market conditions and the success of tripartite efforts to promote re-employment.

With the Retirement and Re-employment Act coming into effect in January this year, employers are now legally obliged to offer re-employment to all local employees who have satisfactory performance and are medically fit.

Mr Tharman added that as it has only been five months since the legislation has been in place, his ministry does not have sufficient data from which to draw conclusions about the patterns of re-employment since the act came into effect.

Nonetheless, the Ministry of Manpower and the tripartite partners are closely monitoring the implementation of the re-employment policy on the ground.

Source: CNA/fa

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