PM Lee: Retirement age, re-employment age and CPF rates changed to support elderly continue working longer

At the National Day Rally 2019 yesterday (18 Aug), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong talked about the changes to retirement age and re-employment age.

He said that retirement age would increase from 62 to 65 while re-employment age from 67 to 70. These will be done progressively from 2022 to 2030.

“The Retirement Age will go from 62 – which is what it is today – to 63 in 2022, and eventually to 65 by 2030. The Re-employment Age will go from 67 – which is where it is now – to 68, also in 2022, and eventually to 70, by 2030,” he said.

He also said to increase CPF contributions for older workers gradually over the next 10 years or so.

“We will raise the rates for workers above 55. We will take the first step in 2021. And we will take subsequent steps after that. The whole process will take 10 years or so,” He explained.

“By the time we are done, those 60 and below will enjoy the full CPF rates. The CPF rates will only begin to taper down after 60, and level off after 70.”

He said that changes to retirement age, the re-employment age, and the CPF rates are to “support older workers to continue working longer and to be more financially independent”.

Elderly work herself to death

Indeed, many Singaporean elderly have to continue working these days despite suffering from age-related ailment, so that they would not become a burden to their children, who are also struggling to make ends meet in Singapore.

Some work as cleaners in hawker centres while others work as security guards. Still, some work at Changi airport as cleaners or trolley collectors surprising many tourists visiting Singapore, as their own elderly are typically enjoying the sunset years at home.

Not surprising, there have been reports of Singaporean elderly working till they literally dropped dead in their workplace. Sometime ago, there was a media report about an 80-year-old dishwasher, Mdm Ho, who died while working at ABC hawker centre in Bukit Merah. She died inside the toilet, sitting on the toilet bowl.

According to the report, Mdm Ho worked daily from morning till night, 7 days a week. She had to wash some 200 dishes a day. She only had 2 days off a month.

“When I saw her yesterday, she was walking unsteadily and appeared pale. I heard she has been having diarrhea for the past few days,” her supervisor told the media then.

It’s not known how changes made to the retirement age, re-employment age and CPF rates for the elderly would help them lead a peaceful life in their twilight years.