Employment Relations on Aged Workers in Singapore

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Date Submitted: 09/28/2012 09:46 AM

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Many industralised countries having built their economies upon a workforce that fuelled with the baby boomers are now facing issues where a large percentage of their workers are reaching their retirement age. At the same time, many of them are also facing falling fertility rates that reduce the number of new workers entering into the labour force.

With the yearly birth rates declining from 45,935 in 1970 to 37,967 in 2010 and the higher life expectancy age from 65.8 in 1970 to 81.8 in 2010 (Singapore Department of Statistic 2011), Singapore, like the others, is also facing the same demographic dilemma.

Singapore’s Context

Singapore’s ageing population is one of the Asia’s faster-growing, according to the report on the Ageing Population from the Committee on Ageing Issues, the number of Singapore residents aged 65 and above will reach 18.7% of population in 2030. The coming surge of seniors starts when the baby boomers (born in the years between 1946 and 1964) reach the age of 65. This generation is the main contributors to Singapore’s economic progression and expansion with better education, great deal of knowledge, talents and experiences. To address the issue on employment of older workers, a Tripartite Committee on Employability of Older Workers under the chairmanship of Minister of State for Education and Manpower Mr Gan Kim Yong, was formed in March 2005. In respond to the Committee’s recommendation to help older workers remain economically productive, the Singapore Government has enacted the legislation on Retirement and Re-employment Act (RRA) effective from 1 January 2012. Under the RRA, the statutory retirement age has risen from 60 to 62, employers are required to re-employ employees who are medically fit and have at least satisfactory performance until the age of 65. Mr Gan Kim Yong said that re-employment is a more flexible and effective way to help older workers to stay employed as long as they are able to, rather than removing...