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Responsible re-employment

From 1 July 2022, employers must offer re-employment to eligible employees who turn 63, up to the age of 68. 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 63 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 63, up to age 68, to continue their employment in the organisation. The re-employment age was raised from 67 to 68 on 1 July 2022 to help older workers who wish to continue working as long as you are willing and able.

The new retirement and re-employment ages apply as follows:

Age Retirement age Re-employment age
Born before 1 July 1955
(>67 years old on 1 July 2022)
62 67
Born between 1 July 1955 and 30 June 1960
(between 62-67 years old on 1 July 2022)
62 68
Born after 1 July 1960
(<62 years old on 1 July 2022)
63 68

Eligibility

You are eligible for re-employment if you:

  • Are a Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident.
  • Have served your current employer for at least 2 years before turning 63 for employees hired at age 55 and above.
  • Have satisfactory work performance, as assessed by the employer.
  • Are medically fit to continue working.

If you are eligible for re-employment but your employer is unable to offer you a position, then your employer must:

Contract

Your re-employment contract should be for at least 1 year, renewable every year up to age 68.

The first initial contract of re-employment should start on the same day you turn 63 years.

If you turn 63 on 1 August 2022, your re-employment contract’s initial start date should be 1 August 2022.

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.

For employers
  • Identify eligible employees for re-employment.
  • Begin discussions as early as 6 months before your employee turns 63.
  • 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.
For employees
  • 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 $6,250 and maximum of $14,750.

Note:

  • For employees who have been re-employed for at least 30 months since age 63, a lower EAP amount of 2 months of salary could be considered, subject to a minimum of $4,000 and maximum of $8,500.
  • 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:

Part-time re-employmentShow

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.

Structured career planningShow

As an employer, you are encouraged to adopt a forward-looking approach in guiding your employees on career development, including the adoption of structured career planning for employees aged 45 years old and above.

The Structured Career Planning Guidebook developed by the Singapore National Employers Federation provides resources to guide you in conducting regular career conversations with your employees.

You will benefit through a deeper understanding of your employees’ future plans, and areas for development. They can build confidence in planning their careers, enhancing their skills and preparing for career changes, re-employment and eventual retirement.

Job redesignShow

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.

Medical benefitsShow

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.

Disputes

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:

Not offered re-employmentShow

Situation

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

Situation

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.