Last Updated on 2021-03-29 , 1:50 pm
By now, I think it’s no secret that Singapore is facing an ageing population.
In fact, it’s estimated that by 2030, one-quarter of the people here will be over 65-years-old.
Our birth rates have also reached an all-time low, at around 1.1 in 2020.
But old doesn’t equate to useless, and Singapore is going to attempt to turn this into an advantage.
S’pore Wants to Harness Ageing Population as “Positive Force”; Looking for Innovative Solutions to Aid Healthy Ageing
As the phrase goes: old but gold.
On 23 March, Ms Charlene Chang, the Ministry of Health’s group director of the Ageing Planning Office, spoke on the country’s approach towards healthy ageing at a webinar.
The Straits Times also reported that it featured prominent speakers from the United Kingdom (UK) and was organised by the UK’s Department for International Trade.
In it, Ms Chang mentioned the projected 2030 data, and that we currently have 14% of the population at 65-year-old and above.
But not everything was bad news.
According to her, we also seem to be living longer as well!
Ms Chang noted that life expectancy has gone up from 82.8 years to 84.9 years from 2010 to 2019.
Health-adjusted life expectancy has also gone up from 72.8 years to 74.5 years in those years too.
However, she also said that increasing life expectancy was just one of the steps.
Action Plan For Successful Ageing
In 2015, the government launched the Action Plan for Successful Ageing.
The plan involves a combination of proactive outreach, preventive health and active ageing programmes for seniors in every neighbourhood.
Some examples include:
- Helping seniors work beyond the standard employment age
- Leading an active lifestyle
- Further enhancing their skills
For the last point, did you know there are over 1,000 courses offered by the National Silver Academy for seniors such as art, wellness and life skills?
Another local speaker said that nowadays more support has been provided for Singapore’s ageing population, such as socially and for their mental health.
However, he said that multiple agencies and partners will have to work together to provide such support.
And speaking of senior workers…
Plans To Raise Retirement and Re-Employment Age
Starting from 1 Jul 2022, the statutory retirement age will be changed to 63 years old, and the re-employment age to 68 years old.
As long as you are a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident (PR) and joined your employer before you turned 55 years old, they can’t ask you to retire before you reach the retirement age.
This doesn’t mean all is lost once you reach the retirement age though. You can still choose to keep working if you wish.
However, there are still some criteria you have to meet:
- You must be a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident (PR)
- Worked for your employer for at least 3 years before you hit the retirement age
- Satisfactory work performance
- Medically fit to continue working
- Born on or after 1 Jul 1952
When you’re re-employed, you will not be employed on a permanent basis, but on a one-year contract basis instead.
You can read about the other benefits for senior workers over here.
Feature Image: BlurryMe / Shutterstock.com
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