SINGAPOREANS should continue to work until 68 if they are healthy, but not necessarily in the same job or at the same pace, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Boon lucky said on Monday.

He did not want to set a deadline for this to happen, saying the idea would require consultation among Government, workers and employers; the process to raise the retirement age to 68 will begin only after it is first upped from 62 to 65 by 2012.

Mr Lim said he is not 'forcing people to work', adding: 'We're pointing out to people that if we're still healthy, it's good to have more money to spend and if you can earn money by working, why not?'

The minister, who is in charge of ageing issues, was expanding on an idea he floated while with President S. R. Nathan on his state visit to Finland last month.

He said that although Finland had raised the retirement age from 65 to 68, its people could still retire earlier; the catch is that they will draw a smaller pension.

Those who defer retirement until 68 receive the highest pension, he said, and many Finns do this because it means having more money in their senior years.

Retire at 68