Thursday, May 2, 2013


There was a time not too long ago when workers looked forward to their retirement at the age of 55, before the official retirement age in Malaysia was raised to 58, and then to the current 60. I recall many of my former colleagues in the teaching profession opting for early retirement at 40!

For the private sector in Malaysia, the retirement age has remained at 55. This is set to change when the Minimum Retirement Act 2012 comes into effect on 1 July 2013. In Singapore, under the Retirement and Re-employment Act which was implemented in 2012, employers must offer re-employment to workers turning 62, at least up to 65.

Straits Times 2 May

Whatever the retirement age, there will always be mixed views from the stakeholders. The government can't please all parties concerned, and compromises have to be made.

Employers see the new minimum retirement age in terms of higher costs in payroll and healthcare provisions. Fresh job seekers see fewer opportunities open to them while ambitious young professionals see a longer wait for career promotions.

A Straits Times reader expresses her views on the employment of older workers

What about older workers? Their views about retirement have certainly changed. While there are still many who can't wait to clock out for the last time at their place of work, a growing number want to continue working as long as possible. And it's not just to keep themselves physically and mentally busy. More importantly, they need the financial security that a steady job offers. As it is, many are struggling to cope with the rise in the cost of living.

Whatever retirement savings they may have accumulated over the years are insufficient to see them through the next 20 or more years. The longer life expectancy of 76 is both a boon and a bane. There are housing mortgages and insurance premiums to pay, car loans and credit card debts to settle. Many still have to support their elderly parents and finance their children's further education.

Mr Lim is representative of baby boomers who have to work for as long as possible to make ends meet.

Older workers simply can't afford to retire at 55, 60 or 65. For young people who oppose raising the retirement age, be thankful that your working parents are self-supporting, and not a financial burden to you.

(For more articles on older workers and re-employment, type the key words in the Seniorsaloud blog search box in the right hand column.)


Pak Idrus said...

Lily, By all means work until you are dead but not those who are holding important post as head of department in the government. They must retired or be retired.

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