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OTCi Labour Research Conference

Event Summary

Throughout 2017, CREA has been working with the Ong Teng Cheong Institute (OTCi) at NTUC on a range of issues relating to the ageing workforce. It was therefore a privilege to speak at OTCi’s Labour Research Conference on 23 November 2017. Professor Rhema Vaithianathan, director of the Singapore Life Panel® (SLP), presented our findings on the retirement adequacy of mature workers.

In February 2017, CREA fielded a module to the SLP to gauge whether respondents are a member of a union or professional association/community. We combined this data with two years of monthly observations on their incomes, spending and employment status, and then controlled for the effects of age, gender and education.

Prof Rhema showed that compared to non-members, union members have better economic outcomes on a number of measures. Union members are more likely to be working full-time, have more stable employment arrangement, and find employment sooner when they are unemployed. Financially, they have higher household incomes, save up to a later age; and reach retirement adequacy sooner.

Finally, in keeping with the overall theme of the conference, Prof Rhema presented data showing that today’s workers expect to work later in life than older generations. Around half of respondents in their 50s still expect to be working at age 62. Union members have a 6% higher expectation of working at age 62 than non-union members. While this analysis does not show causation, it may suggest that NTUC’s progressive employment practices (such as ULive, Workpro and the Job Redesign Grant) may be helping mature workers to stay in employment.

Future work between OTCi and CREA will explore other factors that may help or hinder mature workers, such as work-related training programmes and age discrimination in the workplace.

Please find the programme here.


Thursday, 23 November 2017 - 9:00am to 5:00pm


Stephen Riady Auditorium @ NTUC Centre