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Written Answer by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower & Senior Minister of State, National Development, to Parliamentary Question on Effective Retirement Age in Singapore

Mr Yeo Guat Kwang: To ask the Acting Minister for Manpower whether the Ministry monitors the effective retirement age in Singapore and, if so, what has been the trend over the past five years.

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin:

  1. My Ministry monitors the labour force participation rate (LFPR), which is defined as the proportion of the working-age population who are economically active1. Over the past five years, LFPR of residents aged 55 to 64 increased from 58.6% in 2007 to a new high of 66.0% in 20122. The pattern was similar for both males and females. They increased from 77.4% to 82.3%; and 39.9% to 49.7% over the period respectively. The vast majority of our economically active residents aged 55 to 64 were employed, as the unemployment rate for residents in this age group was only 2.4%, compared with the overall rate of 2.8% in 2012.
  2. In fact, Singapore has one of the highest LFPR for older males, ahead of Hong Kong, Taiwan and many OECD countries. But we are behind Japan and Sweden. Our LFPR among older females still lags behind many developed countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Japan and South Korea, though we compared favourably with Hong Kong and Taiwan.
1We do not monitor the effective retirement age in Singapore as there is no internationally accepted method for measuring this and attempts to do so have been largely experimental.
2Since the start of the data series in 1991. Data pertain to mid-year.