Sunday, July 17, 2011


 The Sunday Times editorial 17 July
Going by the editorial in The Sunday Times today, the answer is "Much less after 62". That's the official retirement age in Singapore. Come January 2012 when a new law on re-employment of older workers takes effect, employers will have to rehire older workers till they reach 65, with an option to extend employment till 67.  

While this may be welcome news to many employees who are about to retire, the new terms of re-employment might not be in their favour. Some companies which have started early implementation of the new policy have cut salaries of rehired older workers by as much as 30%, reduced medical benefits, and in some cases, taken away bonuses.

Source: The Straits Times 9 July
It all boils down to 'take it or leave it', with the employer having the upper hand. The older worker is in a weakened position to negotiate for better terms. He has little say in the matter, especially if he needs to carry on working to build a decent retirement nest. The only recourse left is for the respective workers' unions to present their case for a continuation of the current terms at best, or a less drastic pay cut at worse.

It's sad really. One day you are drawing a salary of X dollars. The very next day your value to the company depreciates for no reason other than you've just hit 62. If you continue to do the same work, it's only fair that you continue to receive the same pay. Anything less is clearly a case of discrimination against older workers.
Ministry of Manpower's Portal for Re-employment of Older Workers, Singapore.
Ultimately, it's up to the individual older employee to prove that advancing age in no way diminishes his work efficiency. If he can still put in a good day's work, he deserves to be fairly remunerated. Surely all his years of loyal service to the company plus his wealth of experience must be worth something.

1 comment:

Aira said...

I agree with the author’s suggestion that older workers can bring their own affirmatives to organizations that being employed and forego ageist attitudes. I admire older workers because of their eagerness in sharing all of their experiences and skills.

Base from my experiences older workers are very approachable. Once you asked them, they are very motivated to tell you all good stuff, in short you will truly understand the things that you wanted to find out.

They still keep on working in certain companies because they wanted to contribute their knowledge to younger workers and I think by that, the company is very fortunate to have them as their workers. Age does not matter; experiences had already been proven that they really had the guts to stay.