When Retirement Age Doesn’t Matter…

By February 16, 2022Current
retirement age

TL;DR – With the raising of retirement age, senior workers who want to continue working will have the CHOICE to decide to retire later!

Imagine you have a wonderful job that you are really passionate about. With great co-workers that you have lunched, and worked happily with for years and years. One day, you turn 62 and your boss goes, “Eh, sorry, Uncle, you’ve reached the retirement age. Goodbye.” Sad right? The minimum retirement age is currently 62 years.

Fortunately for older workers, the retirement and re-employment ages for Singapore workers will be progressively raised to 65 and 70 years old respectively. Yup you read it right. FORTUNATELY. Take 63-year-old master technical specialist Hainee Abdul Rahman for example. With the raising of retirement age, he now has the CHOICE to decide if he wants to continue working… And yes, he wants to continue working!

Heng Chee How

NTUC deputy secretary-general Heng Chee How looks at the battery power pack of the Volvo Diesel Hybrid bus with Master Technical Specialists Hainee Abdul Rahman (left) and Liang Tian Kong (right) at Ulu Pandan Bus Depot on Feb 15, 2022. Via

You see, Hainee joined SBS Transit as an apprentice when he was just 20! He has been with the company for more than 42 years, and has serviced all sorts of buses.

In 2017, at 58, he even had the opportunity to travel to Sweden for eight days to learn how to maintain the hybrid vehicles. First time he had been to Europe! Over more than 4 decades he has been with the bus operator, from the manual transmission Albion Vikings that plied the roads in the 1970s to the diesel-electric hybrid Volvos rolled out in 2018, the 63-year-old has had to keep up with new bus technology. Last year, in his latest challenge – he learnt how to work with the high voltage systems on fully electric buses. Now, Mr Hainee is one of 25 SBST bus technicians who have been trained and certified to be experts on such systems.

READ MORE:  MP Zainal Sapari calling the Government out on cheap-sourcing

Speaking to reporters during a visit by NTUC deputy secretary-general Heng Chee How to Ulu Pandan Bus Depot on Tuesday, Hainee said he previously had no knowledge of electric buses.

“When I attended the courses, I got know about them better. From there, I upgraded myself. “

With all the training he has received over the years, Hainee said he is confident he can continue working in his current role even when diesel-powered buses are completely phased out.

“I love my job very much, that is why I stayed here for so long,” he said. “If I can work and they still need me, I will carry on. It is better for me to work.” Now, if you had been sceptical about the usual negative narratives on the raising of retirement age…

Do you see now how it’s actually something that BENEFITS our older workers? Yup. Hear it from the horse’s mouth… Don’t ask him to retire because Hainee, who has two daughters and five grandchildren, has no plans to retire just yet!

“I love my job very much, that is why I stayed here for so long.”

In 2019, the Government accepted the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers’ recommendations to raise the Retirement and Re-Employment Ages to 65 and 70 respectively by 2030. This will support older workers to continue working for longer if they wish to do so and improve their retirement adequacy.

Well, wouldn’t you want to be given the choice to work for as long as you WISH to if possible? There are people who would retire the second they win that $16 million TOTO draw but you know – don’t roll your eyes – there are people who despite having saved enough for a comfy retirement, still want to work and interact with the world!

READ MORE:  Heng Chee How reminds us not to forget older workers as as we co-create the future

Of course, if you have been super savvy with your finances and sian of working already, feel free to retire on a private island or Batam. What’s stopping you?

PSA: Start planning your retirement pronto.


Don't be selfish... Click here to share this on Facebook!

If you like what you read, follow us on Facebook to get the latest updates.

Gabrielle Teo

Author Gabrielle Teo

I read lots, and I also spend an indecent amount of time trying to get my mostly unpopular opinions published. Oh, I argue a lot with fellow Singaporeans who complain incessantly about Singapore too.

More posts by Gabrielle Teo

Leave a Reply