Better salaries needed, not retirement age extension

RAISE salaries instead of extending retirement age to 65, said Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs).

“The current retirement age at 60 was decided after studying many factors, including giving an opportunity to the next generation to revitalise the workforce, especially the civil service.

“Besides, many workers aged 60 and above have issues adapting to rapid changes in the workforce, apart from dealing with ageing itself,” said its president Adnan Mat in a statement.

Recently, the World Bank suggested that Malaysia should consider extending the retirement age to 65 as people are living longer due to progress made in the healthcare services.

Earlier today, FocusM reported Sunway University Business School Professor Prof Yeah Kim Leng suggesting that the extension was needed due to the same reason.

However, Adnan was unimpressed with the suggestion, adding that the Government had extended the retirement age three times in the last 20 years.

He said that even some in the private sector have voiced support for the extension, arguing that workers are still trying to settle their housing loans after reaching the mandatory retirement age.

“They are worried about not having enough disposable income after retiring as well. The underlying problem here is not the age but the low salaries people are receiving.

“Low pay affects their savings, regardless whether they enjoy a pension or contributing to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF),” said Adnan.

He added that it was best if the Government hikes up the minimum wage to match current financial realities.

“We also need more affordable housing for low-income workers,” said Adnan.

People need living wage

Echoing Adnan’s sentiments, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) said raising salaries to a proper living wage was better compared to extending the retirement age.

“People want to work longer years because the current salary scheme is too low. Due to low wages, their retirement savings also gets affected.

“These people are saying since people are living a longer life, they should be allowed to work longer but I say to them, life is not about working all your life.

“The retirees can still contribute to the society by doing social service, engage in political activism and other activities,” its secretary-general A Sivarajan told FocusM.

He added: “Extending retirement age would affect the younger generation’s participation in the workforce, which in turn, may affect the economy.” – Dec 3, 2020.

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