NTUC to raise retirement and re-employment ages in 2021, ahead of national schedule

SINGAPORE – The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) will raise the retirement age and re-employment age ceiling for its workers to 63 and 68 respectively from Jan 1, 2021, ahead of the national schedule.

All of its 12 social enterprises, which include FairPrice, Foodfare, Income and First Campus, will also do so from July 1, 2021.

Currently, about 430 workers who would have reached the retirement age of 62 in 2021 will be able to postpone their retirement, while about 280 workers can benefit from the early raising of the re-employment age, said NTUC in a statement on Friday (Nov 8).

NTUC and its social enterprises employ about 2,400 older workers beyond the current statutory retirement age of 62, it said.

It announced the changes at a dialogue on Thursday night between union leaders and representatives from the social enterprises, and 4G government leaders, including Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

The raising of the retirement age and re-employment age ceiling was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally in August. The ages will go up to 65 and 70 respectively by 2030. They will first go up from 62 to 63, and from 67 to 68, respectively, from July 1, 2022.

Central Provident Fund contribution rates for older workers will also be raised over the next decade or so, so that the full rate of 37 per cent is extended to those aged up to 60 before it tapers off. These proposals were made by the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers.

Other companies that have raised their retirement ages ahead of the national schedule include Gardens by the Bay and ComfortDelGro Group, while Prudential and Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay have scrapped the retirement age completely.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Mr Heng said the Labour Movement is walking the talk by adopting age-friendly workplace practices, to get companies to follow suit.

NTUC said union leaders raised issues on training, healthcare, digitalisation and strengthening the social fabric at Thursday’s dialogue at the National Museum of Singapore.

Other ministers at the dialogue were Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, and Minister of State for Manpower and National Development Zaqy Mohamad. It was hosted by NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng and president Mary Liew.

The dialogue was part of a series of regular sessions organised by NTUC for union leaders to share ground feedback from workers. It is also part of a series of Singapore Together engagements by Mr Heng and the 4G leadership in the run-up to Budget 2020.

Mr Heng said on Friday: “I look forward to meeting more individuals, workers, businesses, and youths – to hear from Singaporeans from all walks of life and identify new opportunities to work together to bring Singapore forward in our next lap of nation-building.”

Mr Ng also said in a Facebook post on Friday that union leaders at the dialogue raised the issue of workers affected by the recent ban on personal mobility devices.

“Even though many of them may not be union members, I assured union leaders that our teams are already on the ground reaching out to them,” he said.

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