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How Do Age-Related Policy Reforms Promote Employment among Older Adults in Singapore?


  • Sun, Jessica Ya

    (Huazhong University)

  • Usui, Emiko

    (Hitotsubashi University)


This study uses data from the Singapore Life Panel to investigate the effects of age-related policy reforms on older adult labor supply behaviors in Singapore. We first evaluate the impact of the Retirement and Re-employment Act (RRA) reform in 2017, which raised the maximum re-employment age from 65 to 67 years for those who were able to claim pension benefits at age 64. We find that the RRA reform reduced the probability of unemployment among people aged 66 years by 5.8 percentage points and increased the probability to continue working in the longest-held job during the lifetime by 11.4 percentage points. Second, we examine the impact of the pension-eligibility age reform of 2018, which raised the pension-eligibility age from 64 to 65 years for those who were protected by the mandatory labor protection and re-employment policy up to the age of 67 years. This rise in the pension-eligibility age increased the probability of full-time employment by 8.2 percentage points and reduced the probability of part-time employment by 5.7 percentage points among people aged 64 years. These two reforms promoted employment among older adults in different ways. Specifically, enhanced employment protection at age 66 increased the older adults' labor supply in the extensive margin, resulting in a welfare improvement for older adults since those who had been underemployed were less likely to be so after the reform. Still, their ineligibility to claim their pension at age 64 lowered their economic well-being because it increased their labor supply in the intensive margin to supplement the delay in pension benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Sun, Jessica Ya & Usui, Emiko, 2022. "How Do Age-Related Policy Reforms Promote Employment among Older Adults in Singapore?," IZA Discussion Papers 15537, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp15537

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ayako Kondo & Hitoshi Shigeoka, 2017. "The Effectiveness of Demand-Side Government Intervention to Promote Elderly Employment: Evidence from Japan," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 70(4), pages 1008-1036, August.
    2. Mastrobuoni, Giovanni, 2009. "Labor supply effects of the recent social security benefit cuts: Empirical estimates using cohort discontinuities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1224-1233, December.
    3. Neumark, David & Song, Joanne, 2013. "Do stronger age discrimination laws make Social Security reforms more effective?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 1-16.
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    5. Staubli, Stefan & Zweimüller, Josef, 2013. "Does raising the early retirement age increase employment of older workers?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 17-32.
    6. Kadir Atalay & Garry F. Barrett, 2015. "The Impact of Age Pension Eligibility Age on Retirement and Program Dependence: Evidence from an Australian Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(1), pages 71-87, March.
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    More about this item


    pension reform; retirement; older adult; Singapore;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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