More companies should follow the lead of Gardens by the Bay in raising the retirement age of its workers from 62 to 65, said the Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), Ng Chee Meng.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between Gardens by the Bay and the Attractions, Resorts & Entertainment Union (AREU) on 25 July, he said that “NTUC fully supports this initiative by the Gardens. It is something we hope other employers will follow”.
Ng added: “Many of our older workers want to continue working whilst they still can. They have experience and are valuable assets.”
“Employers should value and re-employ our older workers. I know there are some employers who have raised their company’s retirement age, like Gardens by the Bay [had just done].”
Ng elaborated: “Older workers here can continue working up to age 65 with no change to their employment terms if they are on the same job.”
“Where possible, I hope more employers will follow suit so that many of our older workers, outside Gardens by the Bay, can also continue working, earn an income and contribute,” he said.
Starting 1 Jan 2019, Gardens by the Bay, a non-profit corporation, has announced that it will raise the retirement age of its workers from the mandatory age of 62 to 65.
Five of their employees will benefit from the raise of retirement age. The company currently employs 360 workers, out of which 20 are over the age of 60.
NTUC announced that in line with the Tripartite Guidelines on the Re-Employment of Older Employees, it will be working with the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers to develop a clearer framework regarding adjustments to terms of re-employment of staff, as well as other aspects of their welfare, such as medical benefits.
Approximately 20 unionised corporations have either raised the retirement age, or have not stipulated a retirement age for its workers, according to NTUC.
Several of the unionised corporations include the Singapore American School, Novotel Clarke Quay Singapore, ComfortDelGro Group and Bukit Timah Saddle Club, added the trade union.
Several netizens have expressed their outrage against Ng’s statements, suggesting that it is ridiculous to expect workers who are already of old age to continue working in their later years:
Constance Oh commented:
Mr. Ng, would you ask your parents to work until 62 or 65, if, as [their] son, you can afford to take care of them? Until the working environment & tasks are simplified and adjusted to suite the elderly, employers should not hire [them] and extend [their] employment if employees [are] above 62 […] Salary earned at this age is really hard-earned, and at 62, a person is certainly capable to look after their [own] savings. CPF withdrawal should be reverted back to 55. Citizens did not consent to the change from 55 to 65.