Tuesday, April 06, 2010

CNA More quit workforce in their 50s

Read this article in Channel News Asia.

My comment:
I believe that most people want to work to an older age, but they are likely to be retrenched due to restructuring of the company, the desire of the company to increase their profits by employing lower cost workers and the weak protection of workers' rights.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Tan,
You are right. Believe me, most people do want to work but once you have passed 50 and are retrenched, very few companies would take you on. Before you are retrenched and still working, many headhunters would approach you as you have a good track record but once you are retrenched, they will avoid you with a 10 meters pole.

Employers would also not take you on as they viewed that you must not be very good since you have been let go. That perception plus your age will doom you.

I have always been rated highly in my performance assessment in the Company but due to restructuring, my business unit got absorbed and our whole unit get wiped off. All my colleagues also lost their jobs together with me. All of us are highly educated with post graduate overseas degrees, above 50, hold Asia Pacific management jobs for over 10 yeras and cover Asia Pacific business but we are all unemployed.

However, we are using our experience to strike out on our own but it is a difficult journey without seed money and branding. Adjustments are made. For example from flying business class, 5 stars hotels and restaurants, we move to budget airlines, 2 stars hotels and food court. We are still trying and I hope that one day, I will be able to let you kanow that we have a happy ending.

That siad, it is a pity that from a macro economic perspective, so much valuable human resources are being wasted!


Anonymous said...

This is not a mystery. People should just write in to the forum page of Today & Straits Times & tell them off. Older workers need a more relax, conducive environment & shorter working hours but reasonable salary to carry on working. However, how many employers (only concerned about their profits & bottom-line) are willing to provide such incentives? When I was out of work (after being retrenched) a few weeks, I attended Catholic Mass in the church daily & realize a lot of healthy & mobile elderly goes to church. I am sure these people are at least willing to work part-time just to stay active.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is a place for the young, middle or old age are essentially not welcomed.
Though the Government provides aid and assistance for our old folks, but face it, these amts are peanuts, barely enough for them to survive on. This country essentially don't value experienced folks, they only interested in young, why? Becoz they are cheap, and can be exploited easily!!!

Anonymous said...

I believe those guys in their 50s are wise after suffering in silence on pay cuts/forgoing bonuses or cuts / stagnated salaries etc.... blamed on the Financial crisis! They wait patiently till reaching 55 and say enough is enough.....Life is NOT all about working as some can pursue the "American Dream" of Retiring young & Rich if they took to that route.

But in Singapore Context, you will be sidelined/chopped off or put into cold storage because of "Over the hills at 50 plus"

But now when the Economy is picking up, they sing a different tune.

The same scenario will be repeated again and again until there is no choice but to bring in Foreign Talents!

On one side, we are talking about bringing older Singaporean to work and on the other hand we hear about Retirement homes.

Best is to let those planning retirement to live in peace.

Anonymous said...

I don't think is 50s and above. My U friends and I are mid 40s and we are already done and unemployed. Tough to rejoin the workforce as we are facing the same problems as those who are near or passed 50s.

For us, it is the wrong policy to be blame. We studied hard, worked hard but the changing economy, cheaper foreign workers, cheaper foreign graduates have push us, the baby boomers, into early retirement.

So the Govt is engaging reverse gear on foreign policy? For the election or for the sake of us? I am afraid once the current wayang did not work, they will do another reverse gear and we left looking at the Govt with eyes-big-big.

Since I cannot depend on them for my livelihood, they should not depend on my vote in the coming election.....Wasted all my support all these years.

Anonymous said...

This news item is now stating what was obvious to me more than a decade ago.
Having worked and lived overseas, I realise that unlike countries which has a city with a hinterland (where activities are less intense and thereby allowing the seniors to do work at a slower pace), Singapore is a city state.
Unless our society or the garmen can create more meaningul activities for the 50+, the best advice I can give to the younger ones is be financially secure by saving early and live well below their means so that you will not be financially stressed when they reach 50+.
Develop hobbies and a good network of friends to engage yourself socially.
Volunteer with all your heart.
After 30+years in the corporate world, I left on my own accord 11 years ago when I turn 51.
Our garmen has been slow in dealing with this dilemma.

A new Career said...

Do not wait for help, it will not come.
Be resourceful. Your abilities brought you to business class and a business tittle to be proud of.
Despite the lack of secretarial support and someone else to book your hotels and travel tickets, you can do the same on your own.

I worked for a reputable airline and I left them in 2008 when I was 52 years old. I had been with them for 30 years. Why? I do not see myself slogging till 65 for the same company and not experiencing a new career.

I now do consulting and training on contract basis at my leisure.
On average I get 4 contracts in 12 months. The income is less than what I earned before, but I have much more leisure time.
Time with my wife, siblings and time to reflect.
Reflection is good. Many in our society lack time to reflect.

Use your experience and your abilities to your advantage, age & experience is an advantage when it comes to consulting & training.

Of course, business class is out of the question but who knows what the future holds? In our 50s, we have another 25 years to build a new career and with the benefit of hindsight too!

It will be tough if you are still in debt and have young children. but that is the consequence of taking on new properties or dragging a loan for too long.

Look forward anyhow.

Ex-Con said...

Well, even Teo Chee Hean said on 5 Apr 2010 that Singapore's DNA is to be YOUNG City-State. Hence the hidden message to bring in ever more younger foreigners as they are more productive (output / low salary), cheaper, better, faster. While native singaporeans are becoming older, more expensive, less productive, more complaining (chief complainers) and no spurs stuck to their hides (not hard striving).

So with NTUC's message coming out on Sunday, while DPM's message coming out on Monday, it seems the powers that be are having BI-POLAR disorder --- left hand provide the Boomz while right hand provide the Shingz.

Anyway, you are you going to believe? A union that is govt controlled (or at least extremely govt influenced) or the DPM himself?

Vincent Sear said...

It's a very sad thing with our media and trade union. People over 50 become unemployed, tell it like it is. Nobody or very few wants to employ them. What caused that? It's not them the potential employees, but the employers. What caused the employers to behave like that? Government, ask yourself. You set the policies that condition the economic environment.

What quit or don't want to work? If so many people over 50 can afford to quit working happily and enjoying retirement, Singapore has exceeded Swiss or whatever standard of living already. You mean, some pick up cupboards and cans or sell tissues for fun? Old age passtime?

Anonymous said...

Singapore is a place where when you are retrenched will be reluctant to let the whole world know. When people ask will just say you quit. This is why there is this mystery from NTUC, maybe they are too busy in counting their money and feeling too rich to notice. Unlike the western world, retrenchment is still taboo in Singapore and hence our merrymen can again say Singaporeans are lazy and did not want to work.

Anonymous said...

People who are in their 50s will find little support from unions or government.

Many would have a rich working experience. Offer your experience by way of training. Since not one single employer wants us, offer our knowledge to training schools such as MDIS,Polys, and private schools.
They would love to have you.
Write to them or call and tell them what your can share ( teach )

It may not be easy to stand in front of a group of strangers but it will be rewarding, and it allows your mind to engage others.
Be it project management or retail sales management or customer care,
this is an opportunity.

You have nothing to lose, just try.
write or call the private schools or polytechnics.

Of course: no CPF, no Medical.

Anonymous said...

New career, I totally agreed. So I have planned early. Save enough. I have no debts, own two private properties, stay in one, rented out one and have investments, do part time but try to build a sustainable service business.


Anonymous said...

Singaporean are law abiding citizens and adopted the stop at 2 Child Policy.....now what happened?

Similarly many got used to retiring at age 55 .......and only those priviledged few continued working till 62 and in the worst case scenario. lost their jobs in the early 50s.....again what happened?

With company restructuring and injection of Foreign Talents
......working lifestyle can never be the same again.

Now look at the many PMETS driving taxis....wow! it is painful to go back to the 9-5 routine

Anonymous said...

Those of us over 50 know that it is not our choice to stop work as companies retrench older staff to save cost. The statistics only tell you many people stop work after 50 but not why and government should not act dumb & not fix the root of problem. Another PR campaign to "encourage" Bosses to retire people later only benefit top civil servants so they can stay on longer.

Anonymous said...

It reminds me of this Folk Song
"Where have all the flowers gone"
and it goes like this:

"Where have all the 50s gone?"
"Gone out of the workforce"
"Where have all the 50s gone?"
"Gone over the hills"
"Where have all the 50s gone?"
"Gone to be unemployed for good"

Anonymous said...

"Teo Chee Hean said on 5 Apr 2010 that Singapore's DNA is to be YOUNG City-State" From the radio, my impression is the last part of the message i.e. "We must have Forward-looking leaders"

My goose pimples start appearing.


It has started. Minister after Minister will start talking about good leadership. Then they talk about how much we have achieve through the years. Then the success of the recent "coming-out-of-recession" GDP which has become stronger and better thanks to the Govt million $ strategy [Hmm... Using reserve a ingenious strategy?] Then the low rate of unemployment.[build gambling playground another ingenious strategy?] This continue through the announcement of election and rally. Then the mass media will come around and say that people still want PAP to win etc. I have no doubt they will win but way below the 66% they had previously.

To save face, they will say that it is expected, normal due to recent recession and changed demographics. Even with a lower winning margin, after a while, they will announce the need to raise salary of civil servants which also means ministers' salary because there was none past few years. [I wonder why the Govt didn't know they are already the highest paid govt in the world & corruption=low salary doesn't stand anymore as President Obama and Premier Hu are great examples]

Coming back to ground Zero. I am in my 40s, a deg/dip holder, out of job for a few years. With all the above, there is no change for me.

For me, it is a waste of time reading all the things in the newspaper. The important task now is to find earn some money from doing things you are passionate about, learn more from TKL Blog and just pretend you are watching a Hollywood drama whenever the Govt appears on TV or Newspaper....

Since they are numb about people complaining about their out-of-the-world salary, I suggest we give them what they want by telling them to raise their salary since money to them is more important to service to the country.

The unbearable point is: Whatever or however we say is of no use. When the time comes and they want to raise their own salary, they will raise it regardless of what is the public opnion.

It will be interesting to see how PM Lee going to answer the challenge he put to us during the last Ministers' salary raise i.e. judge Ministers on their performance in the next election and decide whether raising their salary was a right decision.

So far, only the Minister of Health impressed me. The rest? I am numb about them.

Vincent Sear said...

The PMO Minister and Sec-Gen of NTUC "impressed" me most. He could say things like he's feeling very rich to the union members and a deaf frog in a well to Parliament.

The Health Minister well, not bad too. He has his moments too, e.g. if you can't afford to retire in Singapore try Johor, and for real excitement, try go Rwanda watch young girls being gang raped.

Anonymous said...

I personally feel that those in their 50s should decide whether to remain in the labour force longer or quit altogether!

Having read in today's ST on prime-news: Young adults squeezed out of US job market. Similarly, it could also happen here as to what I've read about young jobless educated
Singaporeans too.

Anonymous said...

The most logical reasons:
The 2 "I" will complement each other
Singapore got IR.
Johore got Iskandar.

In Singapore all work and play for the young.
Iskandar (JB)is welcoming retirees in their 50s with fat Sing$$$ on affordable medical and housing needs such as retirement villages etc.

Now we understand why men in the
50s do not want to be caught in the rat race culture of Singapore and want some peace and less stressful lifestyle in Iskandar(JB)before they expire.

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