SINGAPORE – The employment rate of people aged 65 and over rose from 27.6% in 2019 to 28.5% in 2020, Minister of Manpower Tan See Leng told Parliament on Tuesday 5 October.
The employment rate of 55 to 64 year olds has remained stable at more than 67%, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, he added.
This is comparable to the average of the top three countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said Dr Tan, who was answering questions from Ms Jessica Tan (East Coast GRC) and Ms Yeo Wan Ling (Pasir Ris- Punggol GRC).
Ms. Tan asked about trends and support for the re-employment of seniors and Ms. Yeo asked how many of them had benefited from the senior support program introduced in 2020, which includes four programs.
Dr Tan said that for the senior employment credit, which provides employers with wage compensation of up to 8 percent for hiring senior workers aged 55 and over, 482,000 senior workers have it. benefited so far.
Since the program began on January 1, 2021, nearly $ 150 million has been paid to 86,000 employers.
For the Senior Worker Early Adopter Grant, which encourages employers to set up a higher internal retirement age and a re-employment age greater than the legal minimum, 21,000 seniors from 2,800 companies benefited from it between July 1, 2020 and August 31, 2021.
More than 19,000 seniors in around 2,000 companies have also benefited from the Part-time Re-employment Grant from July 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021.
The grant supports employers who engage in a part-time re-employment policy whenever eligible seniors request it.
With healthy participation rates, the government provided more than $ 200 million for both the First Older Workers Grant and the Part-Time Re-Employment Grant in February of this year, Dr Tan said.
This is in addition to the $ 100 million committed to these grants in 2020.
The latest scheme in this package is the CPF Transition Offset, which will come into effect in 2022. It will provide employers with transitional wage compensation equivalent to 50 percent of the increase in employer contribution rates to the CPF.
CPF contribution rates for workers over the age of 55 to 70 will be increased by up to two percentage points as of January 1, 2022.
In line with the 2019 recommendations of the Tripartite Working Group on Older Workers, the retirement age and re-employment age will be raised to 63 and 68, respectively, effective July 1, 2022.
Dr Tan also noted that there are programs to help older and older workers remain employable, as well as support for employers who are expanding local hiring in the current uncertain economic and labor market environment.
He said, “With employers continuing to retrain their senior workers and doing everything possible to retain and hire them, with society backing their choice to stay active in the workplace, our seniors can continue to actively participate in all of them. spheres of life. “
Ms Yeo also asked if there was an update on preparations to raise the retirement age to 70 by the end of the decade, given that more seniors may have to postpone their retirement in due to challenges to their livelihoods resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Tan said the Ministry of Manpower is working closely with the Ministry of Health to study how to maintain healthy aging and productivity, adding that there is a “very clear and sustained path “to raise the retirement age to 65 and the re-employment age to 70. .