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[November 22, 2012]
Ending the impasse (HL) [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) PUTRAJAYA: The government is expected to announce next month the implementation date for the new minimum retirement age of 60 for private sector workers.
The breakthrough came after a meeting yesterday attended by the Human Resources Ministry, the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) and the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).
MTUC and MEF officials described the talks as "fruitful", with the employers' grouping agreeing to back down on their proposal for a five-year grace period to implement the new minimum retirement age.
"The outcome of the meeting we had with the relevant parties was very positive and, hopefully, the decision concerning the minimum retirement age would be made next month," MTUC president Mohd Khalid Atan said.
MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said they were pleased with the outcome of the meeting.
"The issues discussed at the meeting looked like it was something that employers could agree to. Hopefully, the decision will benefit all parties.
"One of the main contentions is to make the minimum retirement age optional. It will also enable the employers to better plan their manpower." Shamsuddin said employees should also be exempted from taxes once they reach 60 years of age.
"They have been paying taxes for so long. With the exemption, they would be able to enjoy the fruits of their labour towards the end of their working lives." He said some sectors, which required manual labour or certain skills, should not be bound by the new minimum retirement age.
"Certain sectors, like the plantation sector that requires strength for manual work, or the electronics sector where good eyesight and deftness is needed, might have more use for younger workers." On MEF's suggestion to be given a five-year grace period to implement the new minimum retirement age, he said it had agreed to reduce it to one year as a compromise.
On Nov 9, a ministry spokesman was reported to have said that the new retirement age for private sector would "definitely" not be implemented in January although the Mininum Retirement Age Act 2012 had been gazetted on Aug 16. This was to avoid burdening employers who also have to comply with the minimum wage scheme.
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