Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Why do we need a retirement age?

Recently I've been reading articles that were discussing about the upcoming increase of retirement age from 65 to 67 in Singapore. Somehow after reading it, it dawned on me that the point on increasing the retirement age may be because the government is trying to get more workers into the workforce by getting the older folks to work in their twilight years.

I firmly believe that if the work environment is employee friendly, there is no need for even a retirement age because at this age, there are already almost no companies that are still using the pension scheme. In fact, regulations is only needed to prevent against discrimination of workers based on gender and age. No matter how much you push the retirement age, if the bosses are not employee friendly, people will rather not work for them, regardless of the age.

What's the use then of this retirement age? Is it only to govern the release of the CPF monies back to us? If that is so, what don't we give the control back to us, the citizens? For example, it can be mandated that the annuity starts from age 65 onwards, and all the lock-in, conversion of the special account to retirement account etc are executed based on this age (for e.g., work the milestones backwards from this age). Citizens have the option to change this age, but this will affect the annuity payouts depending on the change. All the CPF board needs to do is to release annual statements indicating the estimated payout based on the current monies in the CPF accounts. Won't that be easier? Do away with this so-called retirement age.

In summary, if you are able to fulfill the job scope and it doesn't cause any unnecessary duress, it doesn't matter if you're a guy or girl, or your age. Therefore, this retirement age becomes unnecessary. Isn't that what meritocracy is all about?

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