Singaporeans have an average life expectancy of 83.6 years (as of 2019) – one of the highest in the world. Unsurprisingly, the proportion of older workers contributing to Singapore’s workforce is also growing, with workers aged 55 and above comprising nearly 25.7% of the local workforce. This is 17% higher than a decade ago in 2010.
In 2020, the government introduced the Senior Worker Support Package to encourage businesses to employ or re-employ senior workers in Singapore. The Senior Worker Support Package will support business in implementing key recommendations by the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers, which include increasing the Retirement Age, Re-employment Age, and CPF contributions for senior workers.
The Senior Worker Support Package comprises of 4 measures:
- Senior Employment Credit;
- CPF Transition Offset;
- Senior Worker Early Adopter Grant; and
- Part-Time Re-employment Grant.
#1 Senior Employment Credit (SEC)
The Senior Employment Credit (SEC) provides wage offsets to employers who hire Singapore workers aged 55 and above, who earns up to $4,000. More support will be given to employees who earn less.
Taking effect from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2022, employers will receive up to 8% of wage offset for workers aged 55 and above, depending on the workers’ age and wage. Employers with senior workers earning $3,000 or lesser will receive maximum wage offset.
|Age of employee as of 1 Jan 2021||2021||2022|
|55-59||Up to 2%||Up to 1%|
|60-64||Up to 3%|
|65-66||Up to 5%|
|67 & over||Up to 8%|
Source: Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
Take Company X for example. Company X has an existing senior employee aged 68 with a salary of $2,800 per month. The company will receive an SEC payout of $224 per month (8% x $2,800) or up to $5,376 over 2 years for this senior employee.
#2 CPF Offset Transition (CTO)
The CPF Transition Offset automatically provides employers with a one-year offset of 0.25% to 0.5% of wages of a Singaporean and Permanent Resident employee aged above 55 to 70, from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022. This is to help employers 50% of the increase in CPF contributions for older workers in Singapore from 1 January 2022.
|Age Bands||Increase in Employer CPF Contributions Rates From 1 January 2022||CPF Transition Offset for Employers In 2022|
|55 and under||No change||–|
|Above 55 to 60||+1% point||0.5% point|
|Above 60 to 65||+1% point||0.5% point|
|Above 65 to 70||+0.5% point||0.25% point|
|Above 70||No change||–|
Since the CPF Offset Transition is to offset 50% of the rise employer CPF contributions, it will only apply to the CPF salary ceiling of $6,000 per month.
#3 Senior Worker Early Adopter Grant (SWEAG)
The Senior Worker Early Adopter Grant (SWEAG) was introduced to support businesses that raise their own retirement age and re-employment age ahead of the legislated changes.
From 1 July 2022, the statutory retirement age will increase from 62 to 63, and the re-employment age will increase from 67 to 68. In the longer term, the government has already announced that the retirement age will be increased to 65 and the re-employment age to 70 by around 2030.
Businesses that increase their internal retirement age and re-employment age of 3 or more years compared to the statutory ages can receive $2,500 per eligible senior worker (age 60 and above). The SWEAG funds up to 50 senior workers per company and the total eligible funding is capped at $125,000 per company.
For example, Company Y wishes to increase its retirement age/re-employment age by 3 years and currently has 55 eligible senior workers. Company Y’s total SWEAG grant will amount to $125,000 (50 employees (cap) x $2,500).
Businesses who wish to qualify for the SWEAG must adopt the Tripartite Standard on Age-Friendly Workplace Practices.
Practices include not having age as a selection criteria when shortlisting candidates, implementing workplace health programmes for older employees, re-designing jobs and workplaces to be age-friendly among others.
#4 Part-Time Re-Employment Grant (PTRG)
The Part-time Re-employment Grant (PTRG) was introduced to support and encourage companies to formalise part-time re-employment provisions.
Under the revised scheme, which takes effect from 16 Feb 2021, the PTRG provides up to $125,000 to businesses that commit to providing part-time re-employment opportunities to eligible senior workers upon their request. Eligible employers can get $2,500 per senior worker (age 60 and above), capped at 50 senior workers per company.
Similar to the Senior Worker Early Adopter Grant (SWEAG), businesses who wish to qualify for the PTRG must adopt the Tripartite Standard on Age-Friendly Workplace Practices.
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