RETIREMENT RE-EMPLOYMENT GOVERNMENT
Singapore – In a move to support Singapore’s aging population, the local government is reducing the list of workers exempted from the Retirement and Re-employment Act.
The 18-year-old list initially had 26 categories of job functions that do not allow employees to work till the retirement age of 62. However, with effect from 1 January 2012, the number of categories will halve.
According to The Straits Times, amongst those workers no longer excused from the act are polytechnic and university lecturers, doctors and dentists working in hospitals and pilots. But commercial airlines’ cabin crews and public uniformed officers such as the police, civil defence and armed forced will continue to be exempted from the Retirement and Re-employment Act.
Under the new Retirement and Re-employment Act taking effect 1 January next year, companies will be required to offer reemployment to workers who turn 62.
A spokesperson for The Ministry of Manpower said the jobs removed from the list were those considered outdated or no longer relevant. “We reviewed the list with a view to streamline the exempted categories, so as to enable more employees to enjoy re-employment benefits,” he said.
The changes will allow an extra 15,000 workers to be covered under the new act, but about 50,000 still remain on the list.
Cham Hui Fong, National Trades Union Congress’ assistant secretary-general, called the changes a “win-win situation”. He said, “Companies can continue to ride on the experience of the re-employed workers, who can continue working longer.”
The exemption list was created in 1993 when the Retirement Act was introduced. The government had allowed certain jobs to be exempted from the act as some professions could be physically demanding or hazardous for older workers. The list was also extended to include workers who had to keep a particular corporate or service quality image, such as airline cabin crews.
Captain P. James, president of the Airline Pilots Association Singapore, welcomed the changes. “What is good is that the law now provides for pilots to be employed till 62, and not leave it to the company’s discretion,” he said. “It also makes the company obliged to offer re-employment beyond 62.”
Singapore Airline’s current retirement age for its pilots is 60, but re-employment opportunities are offered till 62.
The full list of those exempted from retirement law can be found below:
- Public officers in the police, prisons, narcotics, civil defence and corrupt practices investigation services
- People enlisted for regular service in the Singapore Armed Forces
- Auxiliary police officers
- Public officers eligible for retirement benefits under the Pensions Act
- People in a statutory board who are eligible for pension un the Pensions Act
- Cabin crew on board commercial aircraft
- Foreigners on work passes, such as Work Permit, S Pass and Employment Pass
- Employees working no more that 20 hours a week
- Employees on fixed-term contract of not more than two-years, including any extension of contract done within a six-month period
- Employees hired for specific projects on fixed-term contract
- Employees in jobs where are is a bona fide occupational consideration, as approved by the manpower minister
- Employees recruited at age 55 or older (but if they have worked at least three years with the company when they turn 62, their employers have to offer re-employment
- Employees covered by the approved retirement benefit schemes before 1993 (but thy must be offered re-employment
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