HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore raises re-employment age ceiling to 67

The amendments in the re-employment bill will take effect starting July.

As Singapore faces a sluggish job market coupled with the rise of the ageing population, the parliament has passed The Retirement and Re-employment (Amendment) Bill 2016 which will raise re-employment age from 65 to 67.

In April 2016, the Ministry of Manpower announced that following extensive tripartite consultations, the tripartite partners had agreed to several amendments to take effect from July this year.
Aside from raising the re-employment age, there will also be an introduction of an option to allow eligible employees to be re-employed by another employer to increase labour market flexibility and removal of the option of employers cutting employees’ wages at age 60.

In a statement, MOM said the current law does not allow employers to transfer their re-employment obligations to another employer.

"This amendment in the Bill allows an employer who is unable to offer a suitable position in his own organisation, to transfer his re-employment obligations to another employer, provided this is done with the older employee’s consent and that the second employer agrees to take over all applicable re-employment obligations," the ministry said.

Commenting on the passing of the bill, Singapore National Employers Federation executive director Koh Juan Kiat urges employers to make early adjustments to their HR practices to further re-employ workers to age 67.

"Employers can tap on the age management, job redesign and work-life grants to adapt their workplaces and work arrangements to make jobs more suitable for their older employees," he said.

Meanwhile, Heng Cheee How, deputy secretary-general of the National Trade Union Congress said the law will remove the possible cutting of wages at age 60 while enlarging the pool of companies that can re-employ a worker reaching the statutory age of 62 beyond his immediate employer, subject to the worker’s express agreement.

"These are significant changes that benefit both employees and companies, and strengthen the re-employment of mature workers. The Tripartite Guidelines have thus been revised to incorporate these enhancements, so that firms, unions and workers can implement these smoothly and correctly," Heng noted.

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