NDR 2019: Retirement age to rise to 65 by 2030, re-employment age at 70 by then - PM Lee

Elderly men in Chinatown. (AP file photo)
Elderly men in Chinatown. (AP file photo)

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s retirement age will increase in phases from 62 to 65 by 2030, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Sunday (18 August), as part of measures to support older workers and companies that employ them.

Speaking at the 2019 National Day Rally, Lee said that the re-employment age will also be increased from 67 to 70 by 2030.

The retirement age will increase to 63 while the re-employment age will rise to 68 in 2022 initially.

These changes are based on the recommendations of a Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers set up by the Ministry of Manpower last year. The government has accepted the Workgroup’s recommendations in full, Lee said.

The Workgroup noted that older workers want to be certain of being able to stay employed for longer. At the same time, employers want to have more flexibility due to worries over business costs and the uncertain economic outlook.

For a start, the government will take the lead, with the Public Service raising its retirement and re-employment ages from 2021, one year earlier than for the private sector.

The Central Provident Fund contribution rate for workers aged above 55 will also be increased progressively. Currently, the CPF rates for these workers begin to taper down after they turn 55.

The first step will start in 2021, and the whole process will take about 10 years, depending on economic conditions, Lee said. By then, those aged 60 and below will enjoy the full CPF rates, he added. The CPF rates will begin to taper down after the age of 60, and level off after 70.

The government will help businesses with a support package for them and Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat will announce details in next year’s Budget, Lee said.

In concluding his portion of his speech on the increase in retirement and re-employment ages, Lee stressed that the government is not making any changes to CPF withdrawal policies or CPF withdrawal ages. Workers can still take out some money at age 55 and start their CPF payouts from age 65.

Making reference to the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA), Lee quipped, “And if you hear anybody tell you something different, please ignore him or her. And if it comes to you on WhatsApp from a friend, please delete it and tell your friend. Don't share it with more friends and confuse people because that will be fake news. POFMA will catch you.”

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