Saturday, March 17, 2012

Malaysia: Support for Impending Changes in Retirement Age

A series of articles in the Star Online discuss impending changes to raise the retirement age in Malaysia from 55 to 60. According to the reports, the goverment intends to officially set the private sector's retirement age at 60, following proposals to raise the civil service retirement age to 60 from 58 last October. "[T]he Private Sector Retirement Age Bill will be tabled in parliament soon, with provisos to allow those who reach 60 to renew up to 64 and may contain a clause allowing people to retire earlier."

Support for such changes was found a survey conducted by JobStreet.com in which some 84% of surveyed job seekers aged between 18 and 41 agreed with the retirement age extension because they felt they needed to work till they are older to get higher retirement savings due to the increase in life expectancy.

Various Malaysians quoted in the articles also support the changes:
AS Malaysia moves towards being an ageing society by 2030, with 15% of the population aged 60 and above, Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Shamsuddin Bardan says there will be a need to “properly manage and utilise the older employees”

Malaysian Institute of Human Resource Management honorary general secretary J. Aresandiran says that with the local economy on a steady growth trajectory, the country cannot risk “too many people retiring”.

...

Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations president Datuk N. Marimuthu says with many Malaysians today marrying at a later age, it is necessary to increase the retirement age.

“Many people marry and have children late in their lives. When they retire, their children are still young and they still need money to finance their children,” he says, adding that increasing the retirement age to 60 years is “practical”.
However, resistance to the changes is also noted:
Human resource experts cite issues of efficiency and productivity as reasons why employers are objecting to the higher retirement age. Kelly Services managing director for Singapore and Malaysia Melissa Norman says it is undeniable that the current rigidity in terminating staff in Malaysia is a critical factor that prevents most employers from agreeing to the proposed retirement bill.
Sources: The Star Online"Pushing back the retirement age" (March 17, 2012); The Star Online "Prospects for retirees" (March 17, 2012); The Star Online "Malaysia needs flexible labour laws" (March 17, 2012)

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