NTUC to increase retirement and re-employment ages in 2021, sooner than national schedule

On Friday (8 November), the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) announced that it will be raising the retirement and re-employment ages for its staff to 63 and 68 respectively from January 2021, more than a year ahead of the national schedule.

The plan to increase the retirement and re-employment ages will first involve those in NTUC’s Administration and Research Unit, before being imposed on all the other workers across the labour movement’s 12 social enterprises like FairPrice and Foodfare from July 2021.

NTUC’s decision came following Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s announcement in his National Day Rally speech in August. PM Lee said that the Republic’s retirement age will be increased from 62 to 63 in 2022, and 65 by 2030.

As for the re-employment age, he also noted that it will be raised from 67 to 68 in 2022, and 70 by 2030.

NTUC said in its Friday statement that about 430 of its workers will get an opportunity to postpone their retirement as they will reach the age of 62 in 2021, while another 280 workers will benefit from the early raising of the re-employment age.

NTUC along with its social enterprises hire approximately 2,400 employees who are older than the current statutory retirement age of 62.

Commenting on NTUC’s move, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat took to his Facebook on Friday to praise the labour movement and said it is “walking the talk by adopting age-friendly workplace practices”.

Mr Heng was the guest-of-honour at a dialogue between the 4G leaders and other 150 union leaders on Thursday, where NTUC made this announcement.

“As part of the Labour Movement’s efforts to innovate itself to better serve workers, I was happy to hear Ng Chee Meng 黄志明 announce that NTUC is taking the lead to raise its retirement age and re-employment age to 63 and 68 respectively from 1 January 2021 – one and a half years ahead of the national schedule. Indeed, the Labour Movement is walking the talk by adopting age-friendly workplace practices, to get companies to follow suit,” he wrote.

Apart from Mr Heng, other 4G leaders who attended the dialogue were Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran, and Minister of State for Manpower and National Development Zaqy Mohamad.

The dialogue was part of regular sessions in a series organised by NTUC for union leaders to share feedback from ground workers. In addition, it is also part of a series of Singapore Together engagements by the Deputy Prime Minister along with other 4G leaders in the run-up to Budget 2020.

Besides NTUC, Gardens by the Bay and ComfortDelGro Group have also increased the retirement ages ahead of the national schedule, while Prudential and Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay have completely gotten rid of the retirement age.