Addressing Employment and Active Engagement Beyond 50

Reinventing Retirement Conference Examines the

Needs of an Older Workforce in the Asian Context

 

(Mature Market Press Release) Singapore – A longer lifespan is one of the great successes of the 21st century. But along with that success come challenges. Living longer means having to work for longer in order to have saved enough for retirement, since right now, someone retiring at age 62 can expect to live for another 20 years or more. The recent problems in the international finance system and stock markets also demonstrate the importance of long-term planning in work, savings, and investment to insure a long and prosperous life.

 

Longer life spans also mean that employers have to be prepared for the challenges of an ageing workforce. The issue is global – the United Nation’s Population Division indicates that the number of people aged 60 and above in the world is expected to triple by 2050. In Singapore, the urgency is especially imminent, since UN projections indicate that by2050, the median age in Singapore will rise to 54 years, making it the 4th oldest population in the world.

 

To address those concerns, the Council for Third Age (C3A), which promotes active ageing here, together with AARP, the US-based organization representing the 50+population, will organize and co-host the Reinventing Retirement Asia Conference in Singapore on January 8 and 9. This is the first time that the conference, which was last held in Japan in March 2007, will be held in Singapore.

 

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will deliver the keynote speech for the conference, which will provide a global platform for policy makers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and academics to come together to exchange ideas, innovations and solutions to these emerging issues.

 

The objective, ultimately, is to be able to define a new set of age-friendly employment policies that will benefit the economy, society and older individuals, and to promote long-term financial planning for all as we age.

 

“Singapore is ageing. By 2030, one in five Singaporeans will be aged 65 or above. This poses the challenge of developing appropriate policies and programs to accommodate this changing age structure and its impact on the labor force. The retention and engagement of older workers is an important issue, especially when a high percentage of economically-active Singaporeans expect to work beyond the current retirement age of 62,” said C3A Chairman Gerard Ee, citing a recent study on the future of retirement.

 

“From AARP, a leading authority in ageing policies and issues, we can learn ideas and best practices that can put Singapore at the forefront of ageing issues,” he added. AARP is by far the largest membership organization for people 50-plus in the world, with more than 40 million members.

 

Bill Novelli, AARP’s CEO, emphasized the importance of sharing best practices and lessons from countries around the world. “AARP has explored ideas from around the world in an effort to share our experience and learn from other countries in an effort to ensure financial security for all. There is no magic formula, but one thing AARP has learned, especially in a shaky, global economy, is that economic growth is clearly linked to the employment of older workers. That is why we are so pleased to be working with C3A in January to further explore these critical issues for the future well-being of older people.”

 

Highlights of the conference will include the Singapore Roundtable, which will bring together Mr. Gan Kim Yong, Acting Minister for the Ministry of Manpower, Mr. Heng Chee How, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress, and Mr. Stephen Lee, President of the Singapore National Employers Federation, to share their insights on the nation’s experience in dealing with senior workers. An Asia-Pacific Roundtable will similarly bring together regional leaders from Australia, Japan, and South Korea.

 

Notable speakers who will present at the inaugural conference include Mr. Kenneth Apfel, former Commissioner of Social Security in the United States; Dr. Sarah Harper, director of the Oxford University’s Oxford Institute of Ageing, Dr Flore-Anne Messy, Administrator of the OECD’s Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, as well as corporate age management expert Mr. Mirko Sporket and Vice-President of International Consortium for Intergenerational Programs Dr Thang Leng Leng. The conference will cover the following areas:

 

· Financial Education & Literacy

· HR Strategies for Engaging/Retaining Older Workers

· Lifelong Learning & Training of Older Workers

· Workplace Design for the Ageing Workforce

· Opportunities of an Ageing Population

· Cultural Change and Intergenerational Cooperation

· Media & Messaging: Changing Attitudes & Perceptions

 

The recent winners of the inaugural AARP International Innovative Employer Award – Alexandra Hospital and Singapore Health Services Pte Ltd (SingHealth) – will also share some of their innovative HR practices which have helped them engage senior workers meaningfully.

 

The Reinventing Retirement Asia Conference is particularly relevant given that it comes ahead of Singapore’s enactment of re-employment legislation by 2012, to enable more people to continue working beyond the current statutory retirement age of 62.

 

“This Conference with AARP will help both employers and employees to prepare themselves for the 2012 legislature. Beyond financial security, continued employment beyond retirement will contribute to the vocational wellness of seniors, which is in line with the six dimensions of wellness that C3A promotes,” said C3A Chief Executive Officer Henry Quake.

 

Reinventing Retirement Asia 2009 will be held on 8 & 9 January 2009 at the Pan Pacific Singapore Hotel. For more information, visit www.c3a.org.sg/conference

 

About Council for Third Age (C3A)

Set up in May 2007, Council for Third Age is an independent body that promotes active ageing, so that seniors can achieve a better quality of life in all the six dimensions of wellness – social, intellectual, physical, vocational, emotional and spiritual. The Council plays a leadership role in driving the thrust towards creating an active ageing culture in Singapore, and partners businesses and community organizations to develop products and services that fulfill the aspirations and interests of seniors.

 

About AARP

AARP is a non-profit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world’s largest circulation magazine with over 33 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP’s 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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