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Prudential Singapore removes retirement age, benefitting 1,100 staff

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As life expectancy in Singapore continues to rise, Prudential Singapore (Prudential) has scrapped the statutory retirement age of 62. This gives its 1,100 employees the option to have extended careers to fulfil their personal and financial aspirations.

According to a media release, the new retirement policy came into effect on 1 October 2018 and was introduced on the back of its Ready for 100 report which reveals data about work/ retirement attitudes.

With the lifting of the retirement age, employees approaching the statutory retirement age of 62 can stay on in their jobs and be entitled to the same benefits, including medical, as all employees while drawing the same salary as before.

They will still receive a retirement payout any time they choose to leave their jobs.

Prudential’s move to eliminate the retirement age is in line with the nation’s ambition to leverage its rapidly-ageing workforce.

Wilf Blackburn, CEO of Prudential Singapore, noted that retiring at 62 may no longer make sense for an ageing population that has an average lifespan of 83.1 years and which is edging towards 100.

“If we stop work at 62, we are looking at nearly 40 years of retirement if we live to 100. Such a long retirement period may pose financial challenges should you outlive your savings. A prolonged period of inactivity may also lead to health and social problems.

“With this in mind, we decided to scrap the retirement age so that our employees can continue to work in Prudential for as long as they are able to perform their jobs well. We want to empower them to decide when they want to retire, or if they wish to retire at all, rather than specify a work expiry date,” Blackburn said.

On the business front, he noted that there is a lot businesses stand to gain by tapping on the experience and knowledge of the more mature employees.

“At Prudential, we see this group of employees as valuable assets and are committed to support them in extending their productive years by offering them re-skilling opportunities and flexible work schedules as we scrap the retirement age,” Blackburn added.

Currently, Prudential has six employees aged 62 and above who are eligible for re-employment in the next five years.

Among them is Noreen Wee, 62, a lead writer in policy contracts, who has been working with Prudential for 18 years and was set to retire in December this year. She said: “I’m pleasantly surprised to hear about the change in the retirement policy as I want to stay on and continue working in Prudential for as long as I can. What makes it better is that I won’t get a pay cut and will continue to enjoy the same employee benefits as before.

“To retire at 62 is really too young as I’m still healthy and know that I can still contribute to the company. More importantly, I want to have the choice to retire at any age and not be forced to stop working simply because I’m 62. After all, age is but a number.”

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