Syed Saddiq opposes raising retirement age

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman

PETALING JAYA: Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has come out against a proposal to raise the retirement age from 60 to 65 years.

He said today that the priority should be to give young people jobs and for promotion based on merit not age.

Syed Saddiq said there were 500,000 unemployed young people in Malaysia, where the unemployment rate was 10.7%. “Comparison with developed countries is not accurate. Japan’s youth unemployment rate is only 3.4%, Singapore 5.9% and Germany 6.2%,” he said.

The suggestion to raise the optional retirement age was made yesterday by the Malaysian Trades Union Congress as part of its proposals for the 2020 Budget.

MTUC general secretary J. Solomon said Malaysians lacked sufficient income to sustain life after retirement as life expectancy of Malaysians was projected to increase to 80 years.

A higher retirement age would boost the Employees Provident Fund savings of those with lower incomes and for senior citizens.

“We propose that the extension of retirement age be optional and at the same time the EPF withdrawal should also be optional at the age of 55 as is the current practice. For those who withdraw at 55, they will still have continuous savings up to 65 years of age with the extension of the mandatory retirement age,” he said.