Singaporeans will have their retirement age extended to beyond 65 years old, if Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has his way. Prime Minister Lee said in his May Day rally speech that he fully supports ongoing tripartite discussions to extend the retirement age. Currently, the minimum retirement age in Singapore is 62 years old.
Prime Minister Lee is either out of touch, or ill-advised. A recent Randstad survey shows that 4 out of 10 Singaporeans want to retire at the age of 55 years old. That’s close to half of our workforce! That shouldn’t be surprising, considering that we clock the longest working hours in the world – an average of 2400 hours a year.
Rather, most Singaporean workers cannot afford to retire. Only 11 percent said they wanted to retire around the age of 65. Still, More than 60 percent of believe they have to continue working till past 60 years old. That shows that we know we have no choice in order to make ends meet. As Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam pointed out, less than 50 percent of Singaporeans can meet the Minimum Sum in their CPF.
Still, Prime Minister Lee claimed that the union leaders he had met recently claimed that older workers wanted to continue working beyond 65 years of age. They said the older workers would prefer to stick to their job, with the same wage. But Prime Minister Lee replied that they should be prepared to do suitable jobs with reasonable pay, in spite of help from the government. Prime Minister Lee added that workers should constantly upgrade themselves and learn new skills to fend off competition. Talk about adding insult to injury!
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