Me and my other 17 colleagues were each presented with this retirement trophy in 2003 when SIA was losing money due to the SARS outbreak. The early retirement scheme was an optional one and a few other colleagues who did not accept the offer continued working in the office. The retirement age was 62. Together with the trophy came the gratuity of a maximum payout of 25 months salary (pro-rated according with the number of years left in service) plus a yearly free travel ticket for self and spouse on SIA for life. We were also allowed to keep the SIA Sports Club membership at $ 8 a month.
Those who did not accept the early retirement offer were not allowed to fly nor train the crew. The position of CCE (Check & Training was made redundant). They were replaced by the IFS (Inflight Supervisors) who became ward leaders and trainers.These ex colleagues became full time office administrators.
About 2 years later, another 2 of these colleagues opted for early retirement. They were accorded much lesser (almost half) of the perks we had in 2003.
We spoke to a few of our bosses (retired since) about the redundancy of our positions and all agreed that it was an unwise move by the company. Services on board the flights plummeted since we left. We are no longer the best airlines, in term of inflight service. We are just average, overtaken by airlines like Emirates. MAS, CX and even Garuda.
I am not saying that our departure had caused the slide in service. Perhaps not. Perhaps it was the calibre of crew we are having today, perhaps not.
We hope SIA inflight service will recover to be number one again.
BT : Since 2003, 2 of our retired colleagues have passed away and 1 went missing.