Public Service takes the lead in preparing officers for longer career spans

19 August 2019

The Public Service Division (PSD) strongly supports the recommendations made by the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers.

2 As one of the largest employers in Singapore, the Public Service, which has 145,000 officers, will raise the retirement age to 63 years old and offer re-employment to eligible officers until 68 years old from 1 July 2021, one year ahead of the national schedule. More than 2,000 public officers turning 62 and 67 from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 will benefit from this move. 

3 Recognising that legislative changes alone are not sufficient to help officers achieve employment over a longer career, the Public Service will also step up its efforts in a wide range of areas to help its officers stay employable – covering job redesign, expanding job options, reskilling and job transitions over a longer career span, workplace health, and support for officers to plan ahead for their careers and re-employment. 

4 PSD will actively encourage and work with Ministries and public sector agencies to promote job redesign, such as through mechanisation, to make work less physically demanding so that officers can continue to contribute for a longer career span. In addition, PSD will be working with the public sector agencies to develop a more diverse range of job options, including part-time work and flexible work. 

5 Our officers can only achieve a longer career if they continually reskill and keep up with the demands of their jobs or take on new jobs as the work environment changes throughout their career. Hence, the Public Service will invest more in skills upgrading of public officers, and work with the public sector unions to encourage officers to be open to learn new skills and try new jobs within the public sector and beyond.

6 At the same time, the Public Service will be enhancing its efforts to care for and help its officers manage transitions as they age (details in Annex A). This includes a new foundational programme to prepare mature officers for life course transition in a holistic manner, covering topics such as active ageing, health and mental well-being, and financial planning. In addition, the Public Service plans to enhance the existing workplace health and wellness programmes to help officers stay healthy and active. 

7 “Raising the retirement and re-employment ages is much-awaited good news. This will enable officers to remain employable longer with greater certainty. As such, the need for continuous up-skilling and re-skilling becomes even more important. Officers can look forward to greater deployment possibilities to take on new roles at various points in their careers”, said Mr Sanjeev Tiwari, General Secretary of Amalgamated Union of Public Employees.

8 “Our officers will have a longer span of career, potentially spanning a few decades. The Public Service will actively invest in providing new skills to our officers, throughout their careers with us, so that they can continually grow as individuals across more than one job in the Public Service and be able to serve Singapore and Singaporeans well”, said Mr Loh Khum Yean, Permanent Secretary of PSD and Chairman of Civil Service College.