Life doesn’t stop at least until 65: 3 in 4 older workers want to work longer

Senior workers want to work longer

3 in 4 older workers want to work longer. Since 1 July 2022, Singapore’s retirement age has been raised from 62 to 63. Re-employment age has correspondingly been raised from 67 to 68. Employees who were hired at age 55 and above will qualify for re-employment if they have worked for the same employer for at least two years.

How are Singaporean seniors reacting to this?

Meaningful Golden Years

For at least three in four older workers, life does not stop at least until when they’re 65 years old. A study was commissioned by The Sunday Times to investigate the reasons behind this.

The most prominent reasons of wanting to remain employed are to remain active, retain a sense of purpose in the society, maintain their social network of friends & colleagues and last but not the least, save up more for their retirement.

In the poll conducted by Milieu which surveyed 172 senior workers aged 60-year-old and above, 24% indicated they were intending to retire when they are 60 – 64 years old; 38% quoted 65 – 69 years old; with the remainder quoting higher ages. What was surprising was that 17% said that they did not intend to retire at all.

The Singapore public service took the lead by raising the retirement age to 63 and offer re-employment to eligible officers until 68 years old. It was implemented in 2021, a year ahead of the recent changes made at the national level.

Singapore’s Ageing Population

With Singapore’s ageing population, it is necessary to remodel the workplace to make it more age friendly. This remolding includes redesigning certain jobs and flexible work arrangements.

Encouraging our seniors to remain active is especially important. Since 2020, one in four workers in Singapore’s labour force is 55 years old and above. This will only increase as the Singaporean society ages.


Interestingly, there are still many Singaporeans who mistake the extension of retirement ages as ‘forcing’ our seniors to work. This is not true.

Mr Heng Chee How, Deputy Secretary-General at the National Trades Union Congress responded to a netizen’s comment on his post, emphasizing that the extension of retirement ages provide seniors with “choice and options” and it is not a “prescription” of how they should spend their time. He also noted that every senior has their own unique personal circumstances and they must make their own informed decision.

When do you intend to retire (if at all)? How can workplaces be more age friendly?

Let us know in the comments!

About Author

A young Singaporean concerned about issues workers face. As humans, we spend a third of our lives sleeping and recharging, and another third for our personal life, and the last third at work (based on a 24-hr distribution). That's why we should pay attention to issues surrounding work.