The PAP Seniors Group (PAP.SG) made several recommendations to the Government, calling for a tripartite effort to create the right conditions for seniors in Singapore to enjoy being active and productive.
PAP.SG is led by Speaker of Parliament Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, together with Vice-Chairpersons and Members of Parliament Henry Kwek Hian Chuan and Ms Joan Pereira. Other members include former Minister of State and unionist Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon and former Member of Parliament Dr Chiang Hai Ding.
One of the recommendations is for the Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rate of workers beyond the age of 55 to be increased, so that all members continue to enjoy the same level of (contributions) regardless of how old they are.
Nee Soon GRC MP Henry Kwek also shared that they hope a sector-by-sector, tripartite approach will be adopted to create more full-time, part time, and freelance opportunity for seniors.
This is especially useful for fast growing industries like IT, healthcare, logistics and transportation. There are opportunities to create more full-time jobs for seniors. For example, companies can tap on job-redesign grants to automate jobs. This will make it easier for older workers to handle.
“We need to encourage as many companies to adopt Flexible Work Arrangements. By this, we mean flexible locations, flexible time and flexible load. When there are more Flexible Work Arrangements-type jobs, more part-time and self-employment opportunities would automatically be created, thereby benefitting our older workers.”
Locally, Henry Kwek felt PAP MPs should strive to play the role of the “social worker in chief”.They can bring various parties together to help seniors in need.
“In my constituency, Kebun Baru, we have Project Starfish, where we have connected up with each and every of the 300 single socially isolated and lonely seniors. Besides befriending, we have set up community cooking. We even started a free clinic for them.
Just last week, Nee Soon GRC, which Kebun Baru is part of, has started a cancer peer-support network, where resident volunteers can provide the appropriate information, and provide solace to cancer patients and their family members.
Nee Soon GRC has also made much progress to ensure that the communities are dementia-friendly.”