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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     17 October  2011

Retirement age boost pushed for Malaysia

Human resource experts have called on the Malaysian government to speed up the drafting of a specific law to compel the private sector to raise the retirement age of its employees to 60.

With such a law in place, the question of benefits, such as medical, EPF and Socso for private sector workers will not arise said City University College human resource adviser S.M. Rajah.

He said once it is legislated, the private sector will be left with no choice but to increase the retirement age just like the public sector.

“I strongly recommend that the retirement age be extended as a healthy worker can still contribute,” said Rajah, a former senior human resources manager.
He said Malaysia had one of the highest life expectancies in the world but one of the lowest retirement age.

“We should provide a stage for those who are physically and mentally fit to serve the community and contribute to the country as they are the most experienced,” he added.

Labour law expert Datuk Thavalingam Thava?rajah said Malaysians should be allowed to retire when they are older.

“The retirement age is a fundamental term in the employment relationship. When the contract is silent on the retirement age, the employee effectively continues in employment indefinitely,” said Thavarajah, a lawyer and former honorary secretary of the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).

“Imposing a statutory retirement age for the private sector certainly has its benefits,” he added.

Last week, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the proposed Private Sector Retirement Age Bill would give the government the power to stipulate the retirement age of private sector employees.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had announced in his Budget 2012 speech that the retirement age of civil servants would be raised from 58 to 60.
A human resource manager, who declined to be identified, said it would be great news for private sector employees if their retirement age was raised.

“I believe that many of those who have reached the age of 55 are still able to contribute,” he added

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