Giving employees in Malaysia the option to choose when to retire

A workers’ rights group has proposed that employees in the country be allowed to extend their retirement beyond the age of 60.
By: | April 11, 2023

The Social Protection Contributors Advisory Association Malaysia (SPCAAM), a workers’ rights group based in Malaysia, is suggesting that employees be given the option to work up to the age of 65.

This proposal is something the group believes should be available to both private and public sectors, giving employees the choice to retire or work without being strong-armed into any decision. The current age of retirement in the public sector is 60.

As reported by Free Malaysia Today, the group’s international labour adviser, Callistus Antony D’Angelus, has stated that those who continued to work beyond 60 should not be subjected to employment on a contract basis as this would “give rise to precarious and exploitative employment practices” involving these aged workers. Those who want to retire at 60, similarly, should be allowed to do so. “Extending the retirement age would enable workers to work beyond 60 and up to 65 years of age, thereby easing the economic strain on themselves and the nation as a whole,” he explained.

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D’Angelus’ proposal was in response to recent news by Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund that 51.5% of its members under the age of 55 had savings below RM10,000 (US$2,286), which he said could lead to a “serious socio-economic crisis” for those approaching retirement age in Malaysia.

Malaysia, he added, needed “creative and equitable solutions” to resolve worker issues and called for a major reform of labour and economic policies.