新加坡对老年人保障一点也不含糊!延长就业年限、增加CPF…

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2024年2月27日,新加坡职总副秘书长、国防部高级政务部长、惹兰勿刹集选区议员王志豪在国会上发表关于财政预算案的辩论演讲,就增进老年人福祉问题阐述观点。

 

以下内容为新加坡眼根据国会英文资料翻译整理:

议长先生,感谢您允许我参加这次辩论。我的同僚已经就各个工人阶层发表了许多观点。我将着重于推进老年工人的利益。

 

给与老年人支持

 

目前,55岁及以上的雇员在新加坡的劳动力中占比超过四分之一。多年来,政府和三方合作伙伴为年长员工做了很多努力。从延长就业年限到加强就业能力和增加退休保障,多年来取得了显著进展。即使在疫情期间,与其他国家相比,大多数的新加坡年长员工并未失业,再就业时也没有碰到问题。

 

对于短期内,年长员工和其他人一样面临生活成本的压力,我感谢政府在本次以及过去的预算案中提供了保证方案和其他纾困措施,以帮助新加坡人应对这种压力。这种帮助及时到位,受到了广泛的欢迎。

 

除了眼前的压力,年长员工确实担心其他方面的发展。今天,我将介绍其中的三个问题:

 

首先,人们担心通过立法提高退休年龄和再就业年龄来确保更长的工作年限的有效性。为什么呢?因为尽管这样的立法非常重要,但如果没有与技能培训有效结合,这样的立法很可能会受到压力。

 

其次,随着技术和商业模式的加速变化,技能过时的风险正在增加。例如,一些行业正在面临由绿色转型等带来的结构性转变。人工智能对工作的影响对雇员来说也并非小事。这将导致他们有被替换的风险,尽管已经有了规定的退休和再就业年龄。

 

第三,关于老年工人与年轻同行相比,相对缺乏培训和技能提升的公平机会和获取途径,仍有基层反馈的意见。在新加坡全国劳工总会的“每位工人都重要”焦点小组中,有六成参与者表示如此。他们感觉相对缺乏培训和技能提升的机会,与年轻同行相比。

 

这些问题必须得到妥善解决,以确保我们共同的目标,即让年长员工继续工作并为退休储蓄,不受到新加坡不断发展的人口结构和全球重大环境变化的影响。

 

提高退休年龄,再就业年龄

我感谢财政部长在本次预算案中宣布了针对55岁至65岁年长员工的公积金缴交率进一步调高。这将有助于加快他们的公积金资金增长。

 

我们新加坡全国职工总会也对乐龄补贴计划、退休户头配对填补计划以及共同前进配套的具体举措的表示感谢,如就业储蓄花红、退休储蓄花红和保健储蓄花红。这些将增加年长员工的公积金储蓄,并为退休提供更大的安全保障。

 

然而,年长员工在退休后获得经济上的最实质性帮助的方式仍然是增加有效的工作年限。在这里,我强调“有效”这个词,与立法规定相对应。

 

在去年新加坡全国职工总会举办的“每位工人都重要”对话活动中,我们询问了参与的年长员工到达目前的退休年龄63岁后希望做什么。在10位参与者中,有8.5位表示希望继续工作。其中的8.5位中有6位希望继续从事他们已经积累了经验和价值的工作或行业。许多人还询问政府何时宣布下一次增加法定退休年龄和再就业年龄的计划,因为目前的年龄与2030年将退休年龄定为65岁,再就业年龄定为70岁的目标之间仍然存在差距。提醒各位在座的同僚,这个2030年的法定退休年龄65岁和法定再就业年龄上限70岁的目标是由年长员工三方工作组制定的,该报告于2019年发布,并得到了认可。现在,已经是2024年了。

因此,我呼吁政府尽快宣布退休年龄和再就业年龄,并向企业和雇员提供合理的通知,以便双方都能及时做好准备。我们应该迅速行动,因为我们在时间表上已经实际上已经过了一半,所以我们可以在接下来的两年内,比如说到2026年,实施下一次的提高。我相信这是我们需要的速度,以便在2030年达到那些商定的目标,考虑到全球经济环境中固有的不确定性。

 

接下来,我将会讨论关于平等的工作机会和培训的问题,以减少年长员工过早被替换的风险。

平等的工作机会和培训

 

因此,当年长员工表达他们希望能够继续工作时,他们也分享被淘汰和逐渐被抛弃的焦虑。

新加坡全国职工总会发现,10位年长员工里有9位除了希望能够继续工作外,还希望能够持续接受培训。这些工人知道培训对于他们保持在工作岗位上的相关性至关重要。他们特别担心的是能否获得培训机会。

 

我感谢财政部长宣布了《技能创前程进阶计划》,针对所有40岁及以上的新加坡公民,特别旨在提供能够增强就业能力的课程和项目。这表明政府对于年长员工的培训与他们的就业和就业能力之间重要关系的重视。与法律法规相比,相关性在增加有效工作年限方面同样重要。

 

问题是如何实现这一点。当然,资金是重要的。这就是为什么预算如此重要。然而,除了资金之外,为实现实际成果,有效的执行也是关键。因此,我们必须能够确保在工作场所按照意图实际实施的机制。这就是为什么我完全支持同僚劳工党议员陈振声呼吁雇主迅速与新加坡全国职工总会和我们的工会合作,成立企业培训委员会(Company Training Committee,简称CTC)的理由。通过CTC,企业可以更快地转型,各个年龄段的雇员可以得到培训,学习相关技能,并能够与公司共同成长。在这里,我再次感谢政府向新加坡全国职工总会提供1亿新元的资金,以扩大CTC,以实现所有利益相关者的实际成果。我还要感谢副总理王瑞杰早些时候在演讲中认知到CTC的价值。从新加坡全国职工总会的角度来看,我们承诺将与政府更紧密地合作,不仅要实现数量上的增长,还要实现效果上的增长,以便我们能够尽快帮助尽可能多的工人。

我请求所有雇主尽快成立CTC,并与新加坡全国职工总会和我们的工会合作,确保各个年龄段的雇员都有机会接受良好的培训。这些雇员将帮助推动公司的增长。

克服年龄歧视

 

需要解决的第三个领域的是年龄歧视。年长员工担心在几个方面存在年龄歧视,比如获取培训的机会、灵活的工作安排的可用性(以便在照顾需求的同时继续工作)以及在被解雇后作为求职者获得公平考虑。经验研究表明,关于年龄歧视的这些担忧是有依据的,需要解决。

 

因此,我期待政府即将推出的工作场所公平法规和关于灵活工作安排请求的三方指导方针。工作场所公平法规将建立在现有的三方机制(如TAFEP、TADM和相关联合指导方针)基础上,为雇员提供更大的公平保障。这将是一个强有力的国家信号,反对各种形式的工作场所歧视,包括年龄歧视。新加坡全国职工总会和我们的工会将与雇主密切合作,推动工人和企业的利益。

 

加强照顾服务以提升年长员工的就业能力

 

除了工作场所之外,还有日益增长的需求来扩大和扩展可行、易于获得的照顾服务,以满足迅速老龄化的人口需求。在我今天的重点讨论中,我认为这不仅对我们老年人的健康和幸福至关重要,也对他们中年工作的家庭照顾者的就业能力至关重要。这样,更多的家庭照顾者就不必放弃工作来承担照顾责任,或至少推迟这样的情况发生。继续工作每一年都会显著有助于照顾者的退休保障。

 

我敦促政府与可信赖的伙伴密切而深入地合作,进一步发展这个生态系统,这样新加坡和新加坡人才能真正享受到更好的健康、更好的照顾、更好的收入和更强的退休保障。

 

议长先生,有句话说,“在别人知道你有多聪明之前,没人在乎你有多聪明”。

 

新加坡全国职工总会与我们的年长员工站在一起,面对就业不安全和技能过时的风险。我们关心他们,不仅仅是通过提出更多问题,也不仅仅是通过让别人解决问题。我们提出我们的想法,并推动社会变革,对他们的结果产生实质性影响。为什么?因为我们的雇员正在等待我们这样做,我们将开始并完成这项工作。

 

新加坡全国职工总会是前瞻性的、包容性的、行动导向的和实际的,就像人民行动党政府一样。我相信这是确保工人和新加坡人可持续良好结果的正确和最佳方式。

我们将与政府和三方合作伙伴密切合作,并共同为各个年龄段的雇员建设一个更美好、更关爱的新加坡。

 

议长先生,我支持这个预算案。

 

谢谢。

 

新加坡对老年人保障一点也不含糊!延长就业年限、增加CPF...

 

以下是英文演讲全文:

DEBATE SPEECH ON BUDGET STATEMENT 2024 BY

MR HENG CHEE HOW, DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL, NTUC,

SENIOR MINISTER OF STATE FOR DEFENCE OF SINGAPORE,

AND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR JALAN BESAR GRC

ON 27 FEBRUARY 2024

Mr. Speaker, thank you for allowing me to join this debate. My fellow Labour MPs have spoken on various segments of workers. I will focus on advancing the interests of older workers.

Support for Older Workers

Workers aged 55 and above make up more than a quarter of our resident workforce today. The Government and tripartite partners have done a lot for older workers over the years. From lengthening employment to strengthening employability and augmenting retirement needs, there had been significant progress over the years. This was even so during the COVID years, in sharp contrast to what happened in many other countries where many of their older workers lost their jobs and had problems coming back.

For the immediate term, older workers face the cost-of-living pressures like everyone else and I thank the Government for the Assurance Package and other cost-defraying measures in this and past Budgets to help Singaporeans cope with this pressure. The help was timely and very well-received.

Beyond the immediate pressures, older workers genuinely worry about other developments. And for today, I will highlight 3:

 

(a)First, there is the worry on the efficacy of ensuring longer work spans by just legislating higher retirement and re-employment ages. Why? Because such legislation important as they are, may likely come under pressure if it’s not effectively combined with skills-building;

(b)Two, the risk of skills obsolescence is increasing with accelerating changes in technology and business models. For example, some industries are facing structural shifts such as those brought about by the Green Transition and others. The pervasive impact of AI on how  work will be carried out is also not a trivial matter for workers. This will increase the risk of pre-mature displacement despite legislated retirement and re-employment ages.

(c)Third, there continues to be ground feedback about the relative lack of equitable opportunity and access to training and skills-upgrading for older workers compared to their younger counterparts. In NTUC’s Every Worker Matters focus groups, 6 in 10 older workers who participated felt so. They felt a relative lack of opportunity for training and skills-building compared to their younger counterparts.

 

These must be properly addressed, so that that the aim, our joint aim, of enabling older workers to continue working and saving for retirement is not undermined by the evolving demographics in our country and by big environmental changes worldwide.

Upping Retirement Age, Reemployment Age

 

I thank the Finance Minister for announcing the next calibrated increase in CPF contribution rates for older workers aged 55 to 65 in this Budget. This will certainly help grow their CPF funds faster.

We, the NTUC, are also grateful for the enhancements to the Silver Support Scheme, Matched Retirement Savings Scheme, and specific initiatives under the Majulah Package such as the Earn and Save Bonus, Retirement Saving Bonus and MediSave Bonus. All these efforts will increase the CPF savings of older workers and make for greater security in retirement.

 

However, it remains true that the most material way to help older workers financially in retirement is by adding to the effective working years. And here I stress the word effective, as opposed to legislated.

During NTUC’s Every Worker Matters Conversations last year, we asked older workers who participated what they hoped to do when they reach the current retirement age of 63. Out of 10, 8.5 of them said they wanted to continue working. 6 out of the 8.5 respondents hoped to continue in their current jobs or industry where they have accumulated experience and value. Many also asked when the Government will announce the next increase in statutory retirement and re-employment ages, since there is still a gap between the current ages and the goal of reaching the retirement age at 65 and re-employment age at 70 by the year 2030.

And to remind fellow members here, this 2030 goal of statutory retirement age, 65, and statutory re-employment age ceiling, 70, was the work of the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers which report came out in 2019, and the roadmap was endorsed. Now, it’s 2024.

I therefore call on the Government to announce the next step increase in the retirement and re-employment ages soonest and to give reasonable notice to both business and workers so both sides can get ready in good time. We should act promptly because we are already practically halfway in terms of timeframe so that we can implement the next increase by, say in two years’ time, 2026. I believe this is the pace that we need in order to reach those agreed goals by the year 2030 given the uncertainties that are inherent in the economic environment worldwide.

Next, I will speak on the subject of equity in opportunity and access to training so as to minimise risk of pre-mature displacement of our older workers.

Equity in Opportunity & Access to Training so as to minimise risk of pre-mature displacement

 

So when older workers express their hope to be able to continue working, they also share their anxieties about this forced obsolescence, this being rendered out-of-date and then really rust away. 

NTUC found that more than 9 in 10 older workers, besides wanting to continue working, wanted to be continually trained. These workers knew that training was critical to their remaining relevant in their jobs. They particularly worry about access to training opportunities.

I thank the Finance Minister for announcing the SkillsFuture Level-Up Programme for all Singaporeans aged 40 and above, aimed particularly at programmes and courses that would enhance employability. This shows that the Government is alive to the important nexus between older workers’ training and their employment and employability. Relevance is as salient as legislation in terms of bringing about an increase in effective working years.

The question is how to make that happen. Of course, funding is important.

That is why Budget is important. Yet, together with funding and for real outcomes, effective implementation is also key. Therefore, we must scale up mechanisms that can ensure actual implementation according to the intent in the workplace. This is why I fully support fellow Labour MP Desmond Tan’s call for employers to quickly work with the NTUC and our unions to form Company Training Committees (CTCs).

Through active CTCs, businesses can transform faster and workers of all ages can be helped to be trained in relevant skills and to be able to grow with their companies.

 

Here I again thank the Government for the $100 million funding to NTUC to scale up CTCs in order to achieve real outcomes for all stakeholders. I also want to thank DPM Heng Swee Kiat for recognising the value of CTCs in his speech earlier today.

From NTUC, we pledge to work ever more closely with the Government in order to roll this out not only in numbers, but in effectiveness, in order that we might be able to help as many workers as possible, as soon as possible.

I ask all employers to form CTCs soonest, and to work with NTUC and our unions to ensure that workers of all ages are given fair opportunity to be well-trained.

These workers will then help energise your companies’ growth.

overcoming age bias

 

The third area that needs tackling is that of age bias. Older workers worry about age bias in several areas, namely access to training, availability of flexible work arrangements so that they can continue working while seeing to care needs and fair consideration as jobseekers after being displaced. Empirical research suggests that these fears about age bias have basis, and it requires tackling.

For this reason, I look forward to the workplace fairness legislation and the Tripartite Guidelines on Flexible Work Arrangements Requests that the Government will be introducing. The workplace fairness legislation will build on existing tripartite mechanisms such as TAFEP, TADM and relevant joint guidelines to give even greater confidence of fair play to workers. This will be a strong national signal against various forms of workplace discrimination, including age bias. NTUC and our unions will work closely with employers to advance the interests of workers and companies.

 

Building up caregiving services to strengthen employability of older workers

Beyond workplaces, there is also a growing need to expand and scale up viable, accessible care services to cater to a rapidly aging population. In the context of my focus today, I argue that this is important not only for the health and wellbeing of our seniors but also for the employability of their middle-aged working family caregivers. More of these family caregivers may then not need to quit work in order to undertake their care duties. Or at least to delay such an eventuality. Every year of continued working will significantly help with the retirement adequacy of the caregiver.

I urge the Government to work closely and intensively with trusted partners to further develop this ecosystem, so that Singapore and Singaporeans can truly enjoy the full benefits of better health, better care, better earnings and stronger retirement adequacy.

Mr. Speaker, there is a saying that no one cares how much you know, till they know how much you care.

NTUC stands with our older workers as they confront job insecurity and the risk of skills obsolescence. We care, not just by asking more or just by asking someone else to solve the problem or waiting for an invitation. We put our ideas forward and we push for social change and make a real difference to their outcomes.

 

Why? Because our workers are waiting for us to do this, and we will get it going and get it done.

NTUC’s approach is forward-looking, inclusive, action-oriented and practical just like the PAP Government’s. I believe that this is the right and the best way to secure sustainable good outcomes for workers and for Singaporeans.

Working closely with the Government and tripartite partners, we will together build a better, more caring Singapore for workers of all ages.

Mr. Speaker, I support the Budget.

Thank you.

 

CF丨编辑

HQ丨编审

新加坡国会丨来源

新加坡国会丨图源

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新加坡对老年人保障一点也不含糊!延长就业年限、增加CPF...

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新加坡对老年人保障一点也不含糊!延长就业年限、增加CPF...

1条评论

  1. 下面这段翻译问题很大!

    [This is why I fully support fellow Labour MP Desmond Tan’s call for employers to quickly work with the NTUC and our unions to form Company Training Committees (CTCs).]

    :这就是为什么我完全支持同僚劳工党议员陈振声呼吁雇主迅速与新加坡全国职工总会和我们的工会合作,成立企业培训委员会(Company Training Committee,简称CTC)的理由。

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