Insights for Singapore’s re-employment legislation: evidence from the Global Ageing Survey (GLAS)


Ko, H. and Khan, H. 2014. Insights for Singapore’s re-employment legislation: evidence from the Global Ageing Survey (GLAS). Asian profile. 42 (2), pp. 101-122.
TitleInsights for Singapore’s re-employment legislation: evidence from the Global Ageing Survey (GLAS)
AuthorsKo, H. and Khan, H.

Singapore is a unique example of demographic change which results in a rapidly ageing society, with recent witness of experiences such as retirement and pension, retaining and re-employment of older people in the workplace. As a result people’s perception towards traditional norms and values are also changing quite dramatically. The purpose of this paper is to investigate Singapore adult individuals’ attitudes to retirement and re-employment in old age. It also examines the employers’ perceptions and practices towards older workers in Singapore. The paper utilises the data collected for Singapore as part of the 2005 Global Ageing Survey (GLAS). Statistical analyses have been performed in the paper including univariate as well as bivariate analyses. The study revealed that most individuals viewed retirement positively e.g. for relaxation, a new chapter in life, happiness, satisfaction, freedom and hope. However, they also recognized the need to continue working to support themselves financially. They believed that they should and would ultimately bear most of the costs of supporting themselves in retirement. Most individuals in the age group of 50 to 59 felt that the government should increase retirement age as the number of older persons increases substantially. Employers held similar view, i.e. government should increase retirement age or enforce additional savings. Hence, while there may be a “pull” factor towards retirement, the philosophy of self‐reliance i.e. wanting to work to be financially independent is also evident. Individuals’ desire for flexible work arrangements and part‐time work was evident. Such schemes should become more accessible to promote re‐employment. The data also revealed that many stereotypical views of older workers persist, such as older workers are more expensive, not as capable as younger workers etc., particularly amongst employers, despite wide evidence to the contrary.The study highlights interesting findings which may be useful for policy-makers, labour-market planners and employers, in view of the re-employment legislation to be implemented in 2012 in Singapore.
By and large the society will benefit from the research. Both employers and employees are expected to glean lessons from the research findings. The paper focuses on current employment scenario for older adults in Singapore and this enhances our understanding of attitudes towards older workers and retirement. The findings of a rare evidence-based GLAS study might increase employers’ willingness to employ older workers.

PublisherAsian Research Service
JournalAsian profile
Publication dates
Print01 Apr 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Jan 2014
Submitted01 Apr 2014
Output statusPublished
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