The Business Times

In tight labour market, reducing CPF rates based on age needs a rethink

Published Thu, Feb 21, 2019 · 09:50 PM
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LATER this year - as Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat reminded us in Monday's Budget speech - the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers will release recommendations on policies such as the retirement and re-employment age, and Central Provident Fund contribution rates for older workers.

Ahead of this, the latter topic resurfaced in January when a ruling party advocacy group suggested the rates be raised and equalised with those of younger workers. In a paper submitted to the government, the People's Action Party Seniors Group said this would improve retirement adequacy and ensure fair pay for the same job. The CPF employer and employee contribution rates now begin at 17 per cent and 20 per cent respectively for workers up to age 55, then fall thrice, eventually reaching 7.5 per cent and 5 per cent for workers older than 65. Similar calls in the past have often met with resistance from beleaguered firms facing cost pressures, or the worry th…

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