IDOP2023: PAP Seniors Group continues championing seniors at the workplace

25/09/2023

Uncle Ang Koon Hong plans to keep working even though he turned 76 this year. He is in good health, after all, and his 13-year (and counting) tenure as a warehouse operator with machinery parts manufacturer IGUS Singapore lets him spend time with younger colleagues throughout the workday. 

Uncle Ang’s enthusiasm for work reflects just what the vast majority of older people want. Eight out of 10 support an official retirement age of 68 years old and beyond, according to a joint survey by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the PAP Seniors Group (PAPSG). 

“To support seniors who wish to continue working and contributing, the Government will progressively raise the retirement and re-employment ages to 65 and 70 respectively by 2030,” said PAPSG Chairman Dr Tan See Leng, pointing out there is official ongoing recognition in real policies and outcomes of this widespread enthusiasm for late-life productivity and purpose.  

“In the decade ahead, I would like to charge PAPSG with a new mission even as we continue to champion elderly causes. This mission revolves around building a culture of the 3Rs: a Respect, Regard, and Recognition mindset towards our older generation,” added Chairman Tan. 

Chairman Tan made his comments at the PAPSG International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) commemorative event this past Saturday (Sept 23), which affirmed the valuable role which Singapore’s seniors played during the nation’s journey from Third World to First. 

Respect, Regard, and Recognition for seniors

Singaporean seniors like Uncle Ang will have their basic retirement needs helped with the bumper $7 billion Majulah Package — a show of respect for their nation-building contributions. 

Enhancements to schemes like Silver Support, Workfare, and the Matched Retirement Savings Scheme are coming as well. There is also the upcoming Workplace Fairness Legislation employment law.  

Simply put, this landmark law makes sure that seniors cannot be passed over from hiring because of their age. It is part of the regard for the wisdom of seniors, as well as their needs. 

All these are how we are a Party consistent with efforts to give Singaporeans peace of mind during their golden years — not just for now but for the future too. 

These are efforts which will benefit many. One in four Singaporeans will be aged 65 years and above by 2030. At the same time, Singapore is now a “Blue Zone” (one of only six in the world), where people live longer, and overall report happiness and good health while they age. 

So the PAPSG-led shift towards the 3Rs means a much-needed combatting of negative perceptions about ageing, and challenging outdated stereotypes about seniors. 

PAPSG continues advocating for seniors

Meanwhile, our current PAPSG MPs build upon the efforts of our now-retired MPs for Singapore’s seniors.  

The increasing employment age, for example, has its roots in Mdm Ho Geok Choo (West Coast GRC 2001-2011) educating people about the benefits of an increased retirement age. The Workplace Fairness Legislation echoes Mr Yeo Guat Kwang (Ang Mo Kio GRC 2011-2015) lobbying to give older workers more job security. 

These days, MP Henry Kwek (Kebun Baru SMC) calls for more assisted living services nationwide for seniors to age in place. Similarly, MP Jessica Tan (East Coast GRC) lobbies for seniors to have meaningful employment, tapping on their longevity and experience.  

Source: Henry Kwek, Jessica Tan /Facebook 

“We need to change from viewing seniors as a burden, but to celebrate their experiences and contributions along the 3Rs — Respect, Regard and Recognition. We must view them beyond just a group that we support with schemes and social assistance. Instead, we should value our seniors’ contributions and reframe their silver years as a different phase of life,” said MP Yip Hon Weng (Yio Chu Kang SMC) at the Saturday IDOP event. 

This is all effort which enables our seniors to pursue their passions, stay energised and continue to be energetic and enthusiastic about life.  

When Uncle Ang and seniors like him choose to stop working someday then, it will not only be policies and infrastructure which make their transition tranquil — PAPSG’s shifting of mindsets will have helped make Singapore a supportive Blue Zone for their golden years.