Prudential Singapore announced that it has scrapped the statutory retirement age for its 1,100 employees. Officially kicked in on Oct 1, now employees of the insurance company are allowed to extend their careers and decide themselves when they want to stop working.
According to Prudential Singapore chief executive Wilf Blackburn, the move to abolish the retirement age made more sense for a greying population with an average lifespan of 83.1 years. He noted that people who retire at 62 could be looking at nearly 40 years of retirement if they live to 100, which might leave them with serious financial challenges if it turns out that they outlive their pension plan savings. Aside from the financial issue, Mr. Blackburn added that prolonged period of inactivity during long retirement phase could also lead to health and social problems.
“With this in mind, we decided to scrap the retirement age so that our employees can continue to work in Prudential for as long as they are able to perform their jobs well.”
In the next five years, Prudential noted that there will be six people aged 62 and above at the company who are eligible for re-employment. Under the new policy, these employees will be able to stay on in their jobs, continue receiving the same salary, and be entitled to the same benefits, including medical, as other employees. Furthermore, if they finally choose to leave for retirement, they will still receive a retirement payout.
Mr. Blackburn said, “There is a lot that businesses can gain by tapping the experience and knowledge of the more mature employees. At Prudential, we see this group as valuable assets and are committed to support them in extending their productive years by offering them reskilling opportunities and flexible work schedules as we scrap the retirement age.”
Welcoming the moves, general secretary of the Singapore Insurance Employees’ Union Mr. Luke Hee said, “The company is essentially removing any age factor to one’s value in the job.”
However, Mr Hee noted that lifting the age bar is just one aspect of a broader approach to ensuring that staff can continue to contribute to the company, The Straits Times reports.
“Nevertheless, it is certainly a positive step forward,” he concluded.
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