NTUC to raise retirement, re-employment ages ahead of national schedule

The NTUC dialogue session at National Museum of Singapore, with secretary-general Ng Chee Meng (with microphone) and Singapore's 4G leaders (from right) Chan Chun Sing, S Iswaran and Heng Swee Keat. (PHOTO: Ng Chee Meng/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), Singapore’s sole trade union centre, will raise the retirement and re-employment age of its staff from 2021 – one-and-a-half years ahead of the national schedule.

From 1 January 2021, the retirement age of its staff will go up from 62 to 63, while the re-employment age will similarly be raised from 67 to 68.

All of NTUC’s 12 social enterprises – which include FairPrice, Foodfare, Income and First Campu – will also do so from 1 July 2021.

Move announced during dialogue session

NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng announced the move on Thursday (7 November) during a dialogue session at the National Museum of Singapore, attended by about 150 union leaders, social-enterprise representatives and 4G leaders.

“Helping our older workers who want to stay employed longer is something that is close to my heart,” Ng wrote in a Facebook post put up on Friday.

“So I’m happy to announce that NTUC Singapore and all our social enterprises will be taking the lead in this area.”

According to a media statement on the NTUC website, a total of 430 workers from NTUC and its social enterprises will be affected by the early raising of the retirement age, while another 280 will be affected by the raising of the re-employment age.

The statement added that NTUC and its social enterprises currently employ some 2,400 older workers beyond the current statutory retirement age of 62.

Move first announced by PM Lee at National Day Rally

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the raising of the national retirement and re-employment ages during his National Day Rally speech in August. This will be done nationwide from 1 July 2022.

The retirement and re-employment ages will eventually be raised to 65 and 70 respectively by 2030.

Those in the civil service will also see their retirement and re-employment ages raised to 63 and 68 respectively in 2021.

‘Age-friendly workplace practices’

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who was guest-of-honour at the dialogue session, put up a Facebook post about the event on Friday.

“The Labour Movement is walking the talk by adopting age-friendly workplace practices, to get companies to follow suit,” he wrote in the post.

“Happy to hear how our workers, companies are finding new ways to stay relevant and competitive, while NTUC and our unionists remain active agents of transformation, as we remake our future economy.”

Thursday’s closed-door dialogue session was part of a series of regular engagements organised by NTUC for union leaders to discuss and share feedback from workers on the ground.

Heng shared during the session that he hopes the union leaders’ commitment to innovating in three areas – union model, membership model and training model – will allow the Labour Movement to take better care of its workers.

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