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Changes to Singapore employment law could significantly impact workforce

Employers should proactively consider recently announced updates to Singapore’s employee retirement and re-employment age, and employment pass (EP) salary thresholds, to minimise potential disruptions to their day-to-day operations when the changes take effect, an employment law expert has said.

Among the changes announced was an increase to the statutory retirement age in Singapore which, from 2026 onwards, will be 64 years of age. Raising the retirement age by one year, this update is part of the government’s move to gradually increase the retirement age for employees to 65 years of age by the year 2030.

The government also announced that the re-employment age, which is the age up to which employers are required to offer employees re-employment, would be raised to 69 years of age from 2026 onwards. The government intends to eventually raise the re-employment age to 70 years of age by 2030. All employees who are either citizens or permanent residents of Singapore, with satisfactory work records and are medically fit to work, are eligible for re-employment.

The government first announced its intention to raise both the retirement and re-employment age in 2019. At the time, Singapore’s retirement age was 62 and its re-employment age was 67.

Another recently announced change set to take effect in Singapore is an increase to the EP salary thresholds. From 2025, the minimum qualifying monthly salary for an EP – the work pass for foreign professionals, managers and executives in Singapore – will be raised to S$5600 (US$4202) from the current threshold of S$5000. For those working in financial services, the salary threshold will be increased from S$5500 to S$6200.

For candidates in their mid-40s, the minimum qualifying salary threshold will increase to S$10,700, with the salary threshold for candidates in the same age group and working in financial services increasing to S$11,800.

Mayumi Soh of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, said employers should begin taking proactive steps to prepare for the expected changes, to minimise any potential disruption to their operations.

“As a first step, employers should review the current composition of their workforces to understand how many employees will be impacted by the changes, as this will help employers to have a better understanding of the impact of these changes on their workforce,” Soh said.

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