What are your rights at retirement?

 

Generally speaking, most employers are very nice people. However, many SMEs also may not be very certain of employee rights. Have a read at some of the entitlements you have been provided for:

 

No employer may dismiss anyone below 62, on the grounds of age

Although if employers really, really want to get rid of you… they have other creative ways to work around the law. This is why you should join a union. Or if your company is not unionised, call up the NTUC and ask them how you can do so.

 

Re-Employment Rights

At 62, employers are required to offer you re-employment of at least 1 year, until you are 65. Currently Parliament is debating an extension to 67, but meanwhile it is 65.

 

Employment Assistance Payment (EAP)

If there are absolutely no positions open for you, your boss is compelled to pay you an EAP. In determining the amount of EAP, an employer shall take into account the tripartite guidelines.

 

Salary reduction is seldom practiced

Although any employer may reduce your salary after the age of 60, this is not practiced. Even if so, he may not reduce it by more than 10%.

 

If you suspect yourself to be dismissed because of age

Seek your union, if your company is unionised. Lodge a report with the MOM, but you must do so within one month from the last day of service. Non-compliance by the company is liable to a fine not exceeding $10k or an imprsonment for a term not exceeding 12 months. The same penalties apply if your employer offers you unreasonable terms and conditions (so as to make you leave the company).

 

Actuallly hor, why even have a retirement age in the first place?

Wouldn’t a general law against discrimination by age be sufficient? This was answered in 2010 in Parliament by the Prime Minister that “Experience tells us that we cannot merely mandate or legislate labour issues without making sure the ground is ready. Therefore, just doing away with the retirement age, will not bring about more employment opportunities and higher employment rates for workers”.

But with tightening labour policies on foreign workforce, businesses are hard-presed to look for manpower. The NTUC goes through great difficulty to get the re-employment/ retirement ages raised each year. Is the retirement age still relevant?

The outcome we’re trying to achieve here is not so much employment opportunities and higher employment rates. Singapore’s employment rates are already very high.

There are two things we are trying to achieve here:

a.) To encourage a dormant workforce to return

b.) To fight age discrimination by employers

Singapore has always been very friendly to businesses. It is now time to ask these businesses to be friendly to us. Large MNCs who have the ability, should create jobs and positions specifically for the silver generation. The resources are at hand – SPRING, NTUC, e2i… we need to start demonstrating to citizens that the country is concerned about our workers’ future.

Around the world, retirement age rights are pushed further and further. Given the human lifespan will quite likely not exceed 90 years, why not leave the choice of employment up to the employee instead?

As long as he/she is physically and mentally able why are we discriminating in the first place?

 

 

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About the author

Tay Leong Tan

Tay Leong Tan is a collective of 3 writers. Tay, Leong and Tan. (Who were you expecting?!) We are enthusiastic about labour issues, economics and current affairs in particular.

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