So the Retirement Age Got Raised. Here Are Some Jobs Where Old is Gold in Singapore

For Singaporeans who expect to be working till later in their lives, here’s a look at which careers will suit a later retirement.

If you haven’t heard, Singapore’s Minister of Manpower Tan See Leng announced in Parliament plans to raise the retirement and re-employment ages in the country to 65 and 70. This is to support older Singaporeans who wish to continue working, and also better prepare Singaporeans for retirement.

These changes will be made progressively, and start on July 1 next year, when the retirement age will be raised to 63, and the re-employment age to 68.

With Singaporean having one of the longest-living and oldest populations amongst Southeast Asian nations currently, this move is keeping with other countries like China, Spain, Germany and France, which are all looking to raise their retirement ages as well.

Part of the reason is due to labour shortages around the world, especially with the end of Covid-19 lockdowns across the developed world.

Why working longer isn’t such a bad idea

In addition, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives, suggests that every time life expectancy rises by three years, governments should delay retirements by two years.

For Singapore, our reasons for continuing work into our later years might be for various different reasons.

Perhaps you’d like to earn extra money, socialise, or try a career you were curious about but never got a chance to try? Or your goals might be just to maintain physical and mental health and keeping busy. For some seniors, loneliness can be an issue.

Of course, there’s always other options to choose from than full-time work. Some seniors start businesses after retirement, while others find part-time jobs.

In fact, United Overseas Bank (UOB) launched a new gig employment model that brings back retired workers for short and long-term and project job opportunities that require “deep technical expertise and extensive experience.”

These include areas like customer service, process and systems training, operations and project advisory.

If you’re looking for jobs that offer similar longevity, check out the careers below which are also available on MyCareersFuture!

Can you work as a software developer into your 70s?

Now you might be surprised at this job on our list — after all, it’s quite widely believed that older workers tend to get left out for fast-changing technology roles in the marketplace. However, that might be changing, given the ramp up in tech hiring in recent years, coupled with a high demand for software developers.

A good example would be tech company RelevantDB, which put out a job post for developers saying: “Unlike Silicon Valley, we do not discriminate based on age. Experience matters. We hire old people. (And young people, too.)”

Did you know that you can get jobs with government support on MyCareersFuture? Click here to explore the job listings available now. 

According to tech website TechRepublic, RelevantDB’s chief executive officer said older developers are undervalued and often excluded for cultural reasons or for reasons of “fit”.

“This presents a market opportunity for us. We care about a developer’s ability to write code. If we can pick up good coders that other firms reject, then we have a competitive advantage,” Cleveland said.

“We do not discriminate, and will hire people of any age who can do the work well. Silicon Valley does discriminate, blatantly and often openly. So much the better for us,” Cleveland said.

Singaporeans love our makan — how about the food and beverage industry?

For some folks, cooking is more than just a fun activity. Many have caught the cooking bug watching shows like Masterchef or following the exploits of celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsey. Why not make it part of either your secondary career or a passion project sideline? Cooking certainly has a longevity as career path — we Singaporeans love to eat, and eat well!

In fact, there are many cooking courses that are SkillsFuture credit eligible, which means you can actually learn to be chefs-in-training, while tapping on the $500 provided for every Singaporean aged 25 and above to offset your cooking courses!

Do you know that WSG regularly organises career-related events and workshops to help with your employment needs? Find out more.

Ever considered going into education?

The need for experienced and wizened educators for all ages isn’t just limited to Singapore. In fact, according to reports, not too far from our shores the number of teachers working past retirement age has more than doubled the past decade in New Zealand as well!

According to Godfrey Geismar, 77, teaching has become harder, with more paperwork, but children are generally the same.

“I have learned in 50-something years how to deal with kids who are being difficult, and not jump down their throat and tell them off in front of everybody else.”

Locally retired educators said many go back to teach as their children have grown up and moved out, freeing up much of their time.

The Ministry of Education has an adjunct teachers programme, introduced in 2004 to bring former teachers back to work. It offers a more flexible arrangement, in which returning teachers are paid an hourly rate.

Re-employed teachers also get to keep their last-drawn salary if they have the same position and job scope.

“MOE recognises that retired principals and teachers, having built up considerable experience and knowledge throughout their service, are a valuable resource to the education system,” an MOE spokesperson shared in a Straits Times report.

Read More: 4 Ways for Older Professionals to Make a Smooth Career Change

With Singapore’s greying population, it’s all hands on deck for healthcare!

It’s hardly news that Singapore’s population is aging, and with more suffering chronic ailments, more workers in the industry are needed.

And it’s not just doctors, but nurses capable of helming clinics in primary and community health settings to staff new polyclinics, public hospitals, community hospitals and nursing homes, as well as to help in home and palliative care.

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly made this demand greater, with big strains on our current healthcare workforce the past two years, and more Singaporeans, across all ages and experience levels are being invited to join the healthcare sector, with SkillsFuture initiatives and scholarships!

And experience, both professionally and in life, is certainly of key importance in the industry. After all, with age comes the highs and lows of life experience. Older healthcare workers who may have either cared for parents, or raised children, would have greater empathy and patience for those who need it.

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