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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 Re-employment Rate Among Recent Retirees

Mr Chen Show Mao: To ask the Acting Minister for Manpower (a) how many employees who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents covered by the Retirement and Re-employment Act reached the age of 62 in 2012; (b) how many were offered re-employment by their employers; (c) what was the average adjustment to their last wage or salary in the re-employment contracts; and (d) how many cases of re-employment disputes were notified to the Commissioner for Labour in 2012. 

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin:
  1. Top-line statistics on the re-employment situation in 2012 will only be available in March 2013. The results of the previous ad-hoc survey on the retirement and re-employment practices in Singapore conducted in the last quarter of 2011 showed that most employers were prepared for re-employment even before the Retirement and Re-employment Act came into effect on 1 January 2012. 
  2. According to the earlier survey results, some 11,500 local employees turned 62 in the year ending June 2011 in private establishments with at least 25 employees. Nearly all or 97% of the retiring cohort in 2011 were offered employment beyond 62. This comprised 66% who were allowed to continue working on their existing contracts and 31% who were offered re-employment under a new contract. Of those who accepted re-employment in the same job, 17% had their wages adjusted downwards, with a median wage cut of 12%. 
  3. As for re-employment disputes, MOM received 32 cases in 2012, mainly over eligibility for re-employment or dissatisfaction over the re-employment terms offered. MOM provides conciliation services to employees, unions and employers to help them resolve these disputes. If the dispute cannot be resolved through conciliation, employees may appeal to the Minister for Manpower if they have been unfairly denied re-employment, or lodge a claim if they have received an unreasonable re-employment offer or Employment Assistance Payment. In most of these 32 cases, the employees and employers have reached a successful settlement. The remaining are currently under conciliation. We urge employers to refer to the Tripartite Guidelines on the Re-employment of Older Employees when making re-employment offers to minimise disputes and to implement re-employment in the right spirit.    
  4. On the whole, the results in implementing the re-employment law have been positive. The employment rate of older residents aged 55 to 64 rose from 61.2% in 2011 to 64.0% in 2012, and the number of re-employment disputes that has been lodged with MOM has been low. Much of this can be attributed to the tight labour market situation and the efforts of the tripartite partners in promoting re-employment. We will continue to monitor the employment landscape for older workers with a view to enhancing employment opportunities for older Singaporeans.