According to the latest employment statistics by the Ministry of Manpower, the number of working retirees in the workforce nearly doubled. For those aged between 65 and 69, the working group increased more than 16% from 24% in 2006 to more than 40% in 2015. Compared to 2006’s 13.8% for those aged 65 and above, the figure in 2015 also nearly doubled to 25%.
In 2014, 90% of those aged 62 and above see stagnated or reduced wages when they reached the official retirement age of 62. Only 10% saw higher wages. Salaries of working retirees in Singapore are also occupy the bulk of the lower income percentile, with most of them working as cleaners, labourers, machine operators and service and sale workers.
Although Singaporeans are working later into their retirement age, health problems become a major issue with most suffering from arthritis, diabetes and cancer. The nature of their low paying, long-hours and hard labour jobs further worsen their existing health problems. Retirees with serious health problems are not able to find employment will end up collecting cardboard on the streets selling a kilogram for S$1.
The Singapore government refuse to increase interest rates of the retirement fund CPF, resulting in a need for higher contribution rate from employers and employees, and longer working age in order to save up for retirement. Singapore’s retirement fund CPF, pays an interest rate of 2.5%, the lowest return for any retirement fund in the world. The current withdrawal age has also increased from 55 to 65, with plans from the government to increase to 67 and eventually to 71.