This is a letter from one of our visitors, Siew91.
The Singapore government’s rationale to raise the retirement age of Singapore workers to 62 years of age is because we live longer and many of us might not have enough money to retire.
While this may be true, the government has ignored the fact that many workers are culled in their workplace well before they reach retirement age.
Though there are no official figures on the number of older people without job, it is public knowledge that once you lose your job after the age of 40, you will have a hard time finding a new one. This is especially true for managerial and some professional jobs. Most people downgrade or take up contract work.
While lifting the retirement age, the government should at the same time try protecting older workers against ageist employment practices which even the public sector is guilty of. Ageist employment practices include hiring, firing and training of people on the basis of age.
Age discrimination in workplace should be eradicated because it harms the self-esteem of workers. And for workers who lost their job because of age and subsequently can’t find work at all there is often a serious impact on their mental well-being.
Ageism also spawns job insecurity which precipitates a brain drain to countries where ageist employment practices are not as acute. Brain drain is of course injurious to any country in this highly competitive world.
Our society is ageing and in the future we will need to utilize all the skills and experience of our entire workforce, both young and old, to give us the strength the global economy demands.
Finally, the government must eradicate ageism because it amounts to marginalization. With the number of older people increasing so will be the number of unhappy, marginalized voters.
How to stay gainfully retired by Yeo Toon Joo
Retire later, die earlier by Yeo Toon Joo