Singapore: Changes To Employment Laws And Related Regulations For Older Employees

Last Updated: 8 November 2019
Article by Pradeep Kumar Singh, Pei Ling Wong and Marvin Chua

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in his National Day Rally speech on 18 August 20191, announced that pursuant to the recommendations made by the Ministry of Manpower's Tripartite Workgroup (the "Workgroup") on Older Workers, the Singapore Government will be:

  • raising the retirement and re-employment ages from 2022; and
  • increasing the central provident fund ("CPF") contribution rates for older workers.

The Ministry of Manpower confirmed on 19 August 2019 that the Government had accepted all 22 recommendations made by the Workgroup in the Tripartite Workgroup's Report on Strengthening Support for Older Workers. These recommendations, which generally seek to achieve productive longevity in Singapore, are summarized below.

Refreshing the retirement and re-employment framework

Under the Retirement and Re-employment Act ("RRA"), the minimum retirement age (the "Retirement Age") is 62 years old and it is generally an offence for an employer to dismiss any employee who is below the minimum retirement age on the ground of age, as long as the employee is a Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident who joined the employer before attaining 55 years of age.

The employer is also generally required to offer re-employment to eligible employees when they reach 62 years old, and continue to offer them re-employment until they reach 67 years old (the "Re-employment Age"). An employee is eligible for re-employment if the employee:

  • is a Singapore citizen or permanent resident;
  • has at least 2 years of service with the employer if the employee joined the employer before attaining 55 years of age or 3 years of service with the employer if the employee joined the employer after attaining 55 years of age;
  • was born on or after 1 July 1952;
  • is assessed by the employer as having at least satisfactory work performance; and
  • is assessed by the employer as being medically fit to continue working.

It was proposed by the Workgroup and accepted by the Government that the Retirement Age and Re-employment Age will both be gradually raised by 3 years by the end of 2030, starting from 1 July 2022 as set out in table 1 (Annex A).

In addition, for employees who are employed after they have turned 55 years of age, the qualifying period to be eligible for re-employment is reduced from 3 years to 2 years of service. As at the date of this article, it is unclear whether this change will take effect from 1 July 2022 or earlier.

Under the RRA, if an employer is unable to re-employ an eligible employee despite making reasonable attempts to do so in accordance with the Tripartite Guidelines on the Re-Employment of Older Employees (the "Guidelines"), the employer will generally be required to offer an employment assistance payment ("EAP") to the eligible employee. It is suggested in the Guidelines that:

  • the amount of EAP could be equivalent to 3.5 months of the eligible employee's salary and is subject to a minimum amount of S$5,500 and a maximum amount of S$13,000, and
  • the amount of EAP could decrease over time. In particular, for employees who have been re-employed for at least 30 months since age 62, the amount of EAP could be equivalent to 2 months of the eligible employee's salary and is subject to a minimum amount of S$3,500 and a maximum amount of S$7,500.

It was proposed by the Workgroup and accepted by the Government that the minimum and maximum EAP amount will both be raised as set out in table 2 (refer to Annex A).

Strengthening older workers retirement adequacy

Under the Central Provident Fund ("CPF") Act, employers are generally required to pay the employer's and employee's share (which is recoverable from the employee's salary) of CPF contributions every month, if the employee is:

  • a Singapore citizen or permanent resident working in Singapore; and
  • employed by the employer under a permanent, part-time or casual basis.

It was proposed by the Workgroup and accepted by the Government that the CPF contribution rates for both the employer's and employee's share will be increased as set out in table 3 (refer to Annex A).

As at the date of this article, it is unclear how the CPF contribution rates of the employer's and employee's share of CPF contribution would each increase further in subsequent years following 1 January 2021 to reach the targeted CPF contribution rates as set out in the table above. However, it was proposed by the Workgroup and accepted by the Government that each subsequent increase in CPF contribution rates for the employer's and employee's share of CPF contribution should not exceed 1%, and that the total increase in the employer's share will generally be lower than the employee's share as the employers have previously borne a larger share of the CPF contribution.

In addition to the above, to mitigate the higher CPF contribution rates, the Government will be providing transitional support to employers, in the form of one-off wage offsets.

We will update this article once we have more clarity on the further increase in CPF contribution rates, timelines for the targeted CPF contribution rates and details of the transitional support for the higher CPF contribution rates.

Promoting an inclusive workforce and progressive workplaces that value older workers

The Workgroup was of the view that the above changes in the law alone would not be sufficient to ensure a truly age-friendly labour market. As such, the Workgroup identified 5 broad categories of barriers and provided recommendations which may help to eliminate them. These recommendations, which have been accepted by the Government, are summarized in table 4 (refer to Annex A)


The increasing flexibility to work longer should be welcomed by all, and especially by older employees, having regard to the increase in the number of older workers and improved life expectancies in Singapore in the coming years. Older employees, when given the opportunity to earn and save more via CPF contributions, would have more resources to turn to when planning for their retirement. While the changes would not impact employees that will turn 63 years of age before 1 July 2023, this is nonetheless a big step towards preparing Singapore for the future economy and transforming the work industry into one that is more inclusive and which benefits all segments of the population. We look forward to future guidelines and incentives that may encourage employers to build a more age-friendly workplace and will keep you updated once they are available.

To see the full article click here



2 *Whilst it had been proposed by the Workgroup and accepted by the Government that the targeted CPF contribution rates should be reached by 2030, this timeline is a flexible one and may stretch beyond 2030 if deemed necessary.

This update is provided to you for general information and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions