March 5, 2019 / 10:25 AM / 5 months ago

Gray matter: Singapore, unions agree to raise retirement age

FILE PHOTO - Office workers walk to the train station during evening rush hour in the financial district of Singapore March 9, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore, the world’s second-fastest aging society, has reached agreement with trade unions and employers to increase the retirement age, its manpower minister said on Tuesday.

The current retirement age is 62, while companies are required by law to offer eligible employees the option of continuing to work until they are 67 - the so-called re-employment age.

Singapore’s population is the second-fastest aging after South Korea, according to U.N. figures, and the global financial hub is growing more dependent on its older residents as birth rates fall and foreign labor is restricted.

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo told parliament that a group consisting of government, trade unions and employers set up to look at the issue last year had reached consensus on the need to raise both thresholds, a spokesman for the ministry confirmed.

The group will now work to establish how far and how fast these thresholds are raised over the next few months, Teo added.

Reporting by John Geddie; Editing by Nick Macfie

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