Singaporeans ready to work longer

In this picture taken on August 23, 2011, workers head to work at Singapore's central business district in the morning. (AFP Photo/Simin Wang)

Singaporeans on the verge of retiring are prepared to keep working for longer than those that came before them.

Men aged 55 to 59 had far greater expectations to work full-time past 65 and 70 than employees currently are, while women had higher such projections beyond 62, 65, and 70, according to the latest survey by the Singapore Management University’s Centre for Research on the Economics of Ageing, which works with the US-based RAND Corporation.

The findings could ease pressure on policy makers to financially support a rapidly-ageing population that’s living longer. Other countries have grappled with political pressures to keep retirement ages unchanged, leaving a steady flow of people taking up benefits as they kick in. Singapore’s retirement age, however, has rapidly increased to 67 years and made residents more adaptive to working longer, according to RAND.

Survey respondents were more likely to report that they expected to work past age 65 if they were male, low-educated, low-wealth, single, or healthy, the figures showed. For female Singaporeans, almost one in five sees herself in a full-time role past age 70 – more than twice the current seven percent rate.

The monthly longitudinal survey, which has an active sample of about 12,000 Singaporeans and averages about 8,000 responses each month, polls persons between age 50 and 70 on issues including income, health, employment, housing and general well-being.

While RAND has conducted similar projects in other countries over a longer period, Singapore’s has the highest-frequency data collection. Supported by a Ministry of Education grant, the survey has been taken since September 2015. – Bloomberg

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