CSC official seeks lower gov’t retirement age

Published January 21, 2021, 4:59 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

During the consultative meeting hosted by the Senate Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization, and Professional Regulation Thursday, CSC Commissioner Aileen Lizada asked that bills on the lowering of the age of retirement be marked as a priority in “consideration of safety and health especially during the pandemic.”

Civil Service Commission (CSC) (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

She said government workers due to retire “are classified as belonging to the vulnerable group on account of their age.”

“The present pandemic has presented a new and compelling reason for government workers to opt for early retirement,” she added.

Currently, under Republic Act No. 8291 or the Government Service Insurance Act of 1997, the optional retirement age for government employees is 60-years-old while the mandatory retirement age is 65.

The CSC official said changing the retirement age is “long overdue,” noting that the Philippines has the lowest retirement age in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

She said the optional and mandatory retirement ages of most ASEAN member-states range from 40 to 55 and 50 to 60, respectively.

“This endeavor of lowering the age of retirement is also seen as a step taken b the country towards becoming at par with other members of the ASEAN,” she said.

Lizada also said that based on their consultations with national government agencies, employees’ association, local government units, and human resources practitioners, “98 to 100 percent” have agreed that public workers should be allowed to retire younger.

“Indeed it is not hard to see that retireable government workers would choose to start their retirement earlier rather than later so that they may enjoy the fruits of their hard work with their families,” she said.

During the meeting, Atty. Lucio Yu Jr., assistant chief legal counsel of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), raised “serious reservations” on the proposed lowering of the retirement age as this might affect the funds and the actuarial life of the State insurance agency.

At least four Senate bills have been filed seeking lower optional retirement age for government workers, including public school teachers from 60- to 55-years-old; and the mandatory retirement age from 65- to 60-years-old.

Last December, the House of Representatives passed on third and final reading its version of the proposal, lowering the optional retirement age to 56.