From 1 July 2017, employers must offer re-employment to eligible employees who turn 62, up to the age of 67. Find out if you are eligible, guidelines on re-employment and what to do if there is a dispute.
In accordance with the Retirement and Re-employment Act (RRA), the minimum retirement age is 62 years. Employers are not allowed to dismiss any employee based on an employee’s age.
Employers must offer re-employment to eligible employees who turn 62, up to age 67, to continue their employment in the organisation. The re-employment age was raised from 65 to 67 on 1 July 2017 to help older workers who wish to continue working as long as you are willing and able.
You are eligible for re-employment if you:
- Are a Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident.
- Have served your current employer for at least 3 years before turning 62.
- Have satisfactory work performance, as assessed by the employer.
- Are medically fit to continue working.
- Are born on or after 1 July 1952.
If you are eligible for re-employment but your employer is unable to offer you a position, then your employer must:
Your re-employment contract should be for at least 1 year, renewable every year up to age 67.
The first initial contract of re-employment should start on the same day you turn 62 years.
If you turn 62 on 1 April 2017, your re-employment contract’s initial start date should be 1 April 2017.
Salary and benefits
Your salary may be adjusted based on reasonable factors such as new duties or responsibilities. You should negotiate these changes with your employer when you finalise your new contract. A good reference is the Tripartite Guidelines on Re-employment of Older Employees.
Negotiating a re-employment contract
Keep the following in mind when negotiating the terms of a re-employment contract.
- Identify eligible employees for re-employment.
- Begin discussions as early as 6 months before your employee turns 62.
- For eligible employees, offer a re-employment contract at least 3 months before their retirement date.
- For employees who do not qualify, inform them early so that they can better prepare for their retirement or seek other employment opportunities.
- Refer to the Tripartite Guidelines when making your re-employment offer.
- Ensure terms and conditions are fair and reasonable.
- Make your job preferences known early in the consultation process.
- Be flexible and keep an open mind about possible changes to your job arrangement or employment terms.
Re-employment by another employer
If your employer is unable to re-employ you, your employer can transfer re-employment obligations to another employer upon meeting these two conditions:
- The new employer must agree to take over the prevailing re-employment obligations to you from your present employer, AND
- You must agree to the re-employment offer by the new employer.
You are not obliged to accept a re-employment offer by the new employer, and will be entitled to an Employment Assistance Payment (EAP) from your present employer should you choose to turn down the offer.
You can take a look at this sample consent form for re-employment by another employer.
Employment Assistance Payment (EAP)
If your employer has considered all available re-employment options within the organisation and is still unable to identify a suitable job for you, the company may offer you an Employment Assistance Payment (EAP).
The EAP is:
- Offered only after a thorough review, as a last resort.
- Meant to help you tide over a period of time while you seek alternative employment.
- A one-off payment equivalent to 3.5 months’ salary, subject to a minimum of $5,500 and maximum of $13,000.
- For employees who have been re-employed for at least 30 months since age 62, a lower EAP amount of 2 months of salary could be considered, subject to a minimum of $3,500 and maximum of $7,500.
- In addition to the EAP, employers are encouraged to provide outplacement assistance, to help employees find alternative employment.
Revised tripartite guidelines
Following the release of the tripartite workgroup’s report on strengthening support for older workers, the tripartite partners have revised the Tripartite Guidelines on Re-employment of Older Employees to reflect the workgroup’s recommendations.
These are the key changes to the revised guidelines:
As an employer, you should adhere to prevailing principles on changes to wages, medical and other benefits for your employees who are re-employed on a part-time basis.
For re-employment of your part-time employees, the maximum and minimum EAP amounts could be pro-rated based on the number of hours worked per week, relative to a full-time employee.
Higher internal retirement and re-employment ages than statutory requirementsShow
As an employer, you are encouraged to raise your internal retirement and re-employment ages above the statutory requirements. You can tap on the Senior Worker Early Adopter Grant and Part-time Re-employment Grant to do so.
These ages should be clearly documented in your relevant employment documents. You should also include avenues where your employees can seek help from if there are disputes.
As an employer, you are encouraged to adopt a forward-looking approach in guiding your employees on career development, including use of structured career planning sessions.
You will benefit through a deeper understanding of your employees’ future plans, and they can build confidence in planning their careers and prepare them for career changes, re-employment and eventual retirement.
As an employer, you should facilitate the re-employment of older workers by building more age-friendly workplaces.
You are encouraged to use job redesign to make organisation-wide and system-levels changes. This will increase the number of older workers who can perform the job, and increase the age at which your workers can do a job.
As an employer, you should restructure existing medical benefits, and provide additional MediSave contributions or other flexible benefits. These can be used to pay for your employee’s MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plan premiums (if applicable).
This helps you manage healthcare costs by providing stability and predictability, and builds up Medisave Accounts and accrue medical benefits post-employment for your employees.
Special Employment Credit (SEC)
Through the SEC, employers who voluntarily re-employ workers aged 65 and above will receive an additional offset of up to 3% of an employee’s monthly wages.
The SEC enhancement will help employers manage their overall costs and encourage them to voluntarily re-employ older workers aged 65 and above.
To find out more, visit the SEC website.
You should work together with your employer (or union, if applicable) to resolve any differences amicably.
You can also approach the Commissioner for Labour (COL) or Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) for help in the following situations:
You are not offered re-employment and you dispute your employer’s reasons for it.
This could include not meeting the re-employment eligibility criteria, no suitable job vacancy, or dismissal during re-employment.
When to approach
Within 1 month after the last day of employment.
How to approach
You can notify the Commissioner for Labour online.
Unreasonable terms and conditions or EAP amountShow
You feel that the terms and conditions of the re-employment offer or the EAP amount offered is unreasonable.
When to approach
Within 6 months after the last day of employment.
Who to approach
You can approach TADM for advice and options to help you manage the dispute.
Include details of your dispute including supporting documents, names, contacts, position held, job description, length of service and re-employment terms offered to you.