wage, singapore, employers, hiring, senior workers, re-employment, retirement

Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng noted that this has benefitted 482,000 senior workers thus far, under the Senior Employment Credit scheme.

Singapore's Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng recently responded to Parliamentary queries on the trend of senior re-employment in Singapore amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and the success of the Senior Worker Support Package.

In a written response, he noted that in line with the 2019 recommendations by the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers, the retirement age and re-employment age will be increased to 63 and 68 respectively from 1 July 2022. The CPF contribution rates for workers aged 55 to 70 will also be raised by up to two percentage points from 1 January 2022.  

This Senior Worker Support Package, which was introduced last year to support employers in re-employing senior workers, consists of the four following schemes: 

  1. The Senior Employment Credit, whichprovides employers wage offsets of up to 8% for hiring senior workers aged 55 and above to support employers in re-employing senior workers. Since its start on 1 January 2021, close to S$150mn have been disbursed to 86,000 employers, benefitting 482,000 senior workers thus far.  
  2. The Senior Worker Early Adopter Grantwhich encourages employers to implement a higher internal retirement age and re-employment age, above the statutory minimum, has benefitted 21,000 senior workers working in 28,000 companies from 1 July 2020 to 31 August 2021.
  3. The Part-time Re-employment Grant, which supports employers who commit to a part-time re-employment policy when requested by eligible senior workers. From 1 July 2020 to 31 August 2021, more than 19,000 senior workers working in almost 2,000 companies have benefitted from the grant. With such healthy take-up rates, the Government has topped up over S$200mn for both the Senior Worker Adopter Grant and the Part-time Re-employment Grant in February 2021. This was on top of S$100mn committed to these grants in 2020.
  4. The CPF Transition Offset, which will provide employers with transitionary wage offset equivalent to 50% of the increase in employer CPF contribution rates, and will take effect in 2022.

In a LinkedIn post on Tuesday, Dr Tan shared: "Collectively, about 40,000 senior workers have benefitted from the Senior Worker Early Adopter Grant and the Part-Time Re-employment Grant. These grants have supported close to 5,000 companies which have implemented higher internal retirement and re-employment ages, and commit to part-time re-employment policy."

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the employment rate of those aged 55-64 held steady at over 67%, while the employment rate of those aged 65 and above has increased from 27.6% in 2019 to 28.5% in 2020, the minister noted. The re-employment offer rates among eligible private sector resident employees who wished to continue working have also remained high, at "well over" 90% in 2020.

Overall, a total of S$1.5bn has been allocated by the Government through the Senior Worker Support Package over three years, which includes the S$1.3bn announced in 2020, and S$200mn top-up for the Senior Worker Early Adopter Grant and Part-time Re-employment Grant in 2021. 

Other efforts highlighted by Dr Tan include:

  • The SkillsFuture Mid-Career Support package which was announced to help mature and senior workers stay employable and enter new jobs or new roles. 
  • Additional support for employers who are expanding local hiring amidst the current economic and labour market uncertainty was also provided.
  • The Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI)which provides wage support to eligible firms that hire new local jobseekers, with higher support for new local hires aged 40 and above, including older workers. A six-month extension till March 2022 was also announced to support employers in continuing to expand local hiring. JGI-eligible firms that hire mature local hires from October 2021 to March 2022 will receive up to S$36,000 per hire.

Photo / 123RF

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