Singapore to raise retirement age to 64 in 2026; 8 key takeaways on how the PAP Government will “walk every step” with workers in Singapore   


THE PAP Government will walk every step with Singaporeans, Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng said, whether they are youths starting their career, mid-career workers looking at the next steps, or seniors approaching retirement. 

During the debate on the Ministry of Manpower’s budget, Dr Tan outlined his team’s three broad thrusts this fiscal year. They aim to help workers secure better jobs and raise the productivity of businesses, increase retirement adequacy for vulnerable individuals and promote fairer and more inclusive workplaces.  

Here are the eight key takeaways:  

#1 Retirement age to rise from 63 to 64 in 2026; re-employment age to rise from 68 to 69 

Singapore’s retirement age will be raised to 64 years old in 2026; re-employment age will be increased to 69 in the same year. 

The retirement age was raised to 63, and the re-employment age to 68 in July 2022. 

Dr Tan announced the timeline for the move in Parliament on March 4, which is part of the government’s plans to “work hand-in-hand with employers and workers to build more inclusive and progressive workplaces”.  

He said the move was made after the government reached a consensus with unions and employers. 

The retirement and re-employment ages were last raised in 2022 after tripartite partners agreed in 2019 to raise the retirement age to 65 and the re-employment age to 70 by 2030. 

#2 Salary threshold for new Employment Pass applicants to rise to $5,600 from 2025 

The minimum qualifying monthly salary for new Employment Pass (EP) applicants will rise to $5,600 from Jan 1, 2025, up from the current $5,000, and for renewals the year after.  

Those working in financial services will need to earn $6,200 a month, up from the current $5,500, reflecting the sector’s higher wage norms. 

Dr Tan said the EP qualifying salary will continue to increase progressively with age. 

He noted that the dates were set in response to concerns from trade associations and chambers regarding rising labour costs and constraints in hiring.  

However, he added: “Even as we continue to attract top talent to grow our economy, our work pass framework needs to be strengthened to ensure that firms develop their local workforce and treat locals fairly.”   

#3 Work permit levies for the marine shipyard sector to rise in 2026  

The government will raise the levies for work permit holders in the marine shipyard sector starting January 2026. The levy for ‘Basic Skilled’ R2 permit holders will increase by $100 to $500. ‘Higher Skilled’ R1 permit holders will see a smaller increase of $50, from $300 to $350. 
Dr Tan stressed the need to manage the numbers of work permit holders and improve on their quality, calling the changes to policies in the marine shipyard sector “a first step”. 
The Ministry of Trade and Industry announced on March 1 that the Dependency Ratio Ceiling, or DRC for the Marine Shipyard sector will decrease from 77.8 per cent to 75 per cent effective January 2026. Changes will also take effect from Jan 2026. 

#4 Nearly 4,200 Overseas Networks and Expertise (ONE) Pass applications approved as of Jan 1  

MOM has received a strong response to the Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass, or ONE Pass, which launched in January 2023 to attract top global talent to Singapore.  
As of January 1, 2024, MOM had approved nearly 4,200 ONE Pass applications, according to Dr Tan. 

“In an era where talent is scarce, businesses follow talent. Our ONE Pass holders are the proverbial “rainmakers” — while not large in numbers, they are the creators of opportunities and generate good jobs in their respective fields.” 

#5 More salary support for employers to train employees under the Career Conversion Programmes

Employers will receive more support to hire mid-career workers and reskill existing employees under the Career Conversion Programme (CCP) scheme from Apr 1, said Dr Tan. 

The salary support caps under CCP will increase. For mature workers or long-term unemployed workers, employers currently get up to 90 per cent funding support for the CCP training duration, capped at $6,000 per month. This cap will now rise to $7,500. This means that employers can receive up to S$45,000 of salary support for each worker for a six-month conversion programme. 

#6 Government is finalising the financial support scheme for involuntarily unemployed jobseekers   

The government is close to finalising parameters for the financial support scheme for involuntarily unemployed jobseekers, said Dr Tan. He assured the House that the team has studied best practices worldwide. 

“For example, our pay-outs will be conditional on jobseekers making the effort to actively search for a job. This will avoid the unintended consequences faced by other countries in implementing similar schemes.” 

The government has also considered feedback and suggestions from tripartite partners and the public. 

#7 Less than 1 per cent of CPF members aged 55 and above are affected by closure of their Special Account  

Only 8,400 Central Provident Fund (CPF) members aged 55 and above cannot fully transfer their Special Account (SA) savings into their Retirement Account (RA) after the SA closure. They represent less than 1 per cent of all CPF members aged 55 and above. 

Dr Tan said those affected tend to be “more well-off”. The majority can transfer all their SA savings into their RA to earn higher interest rates and higher retirement payouts. 

Dr Tan cautioned against retaining the Special Account for existing members aged 55 and above, saying it would inadvertently create inequality by benefiting the current older generation while disadvantaging younger Singaporeans. 

#8 More than seven in 10 active CPF members have set aside the Full Retirement Sum at age 55 

The majority of active CPF members have accumulated retirement funds equivalent to the Full Retirement Sum by age 55, Dr Tan said, debunking Leader of Opposition Pritam Singh’s characterisation of retirement adequacy as a “serious and ongoing concern”.  

More than seven in 10 active CPF members today have set aside the sum at age 55 either in cash or in a mixture of property and cash, up from five in 10 a decade ago.  

The government has implemented various enhancements to boost retirement savings for lower-income earners, homemakers and caregivers. They include the Majulah Package, the Workfare Income Supplement Silver Support Scheme, and the Matched Retirement Savings Scheme.