Govt to seek PSC advice on retirement age

Kathmandu, January 11

The government today decided to consult Public Service Commission for increasing retirement age of civil servants from 58 to 60 years.

PSC Chair Umesh Prasad Mainali told this daily that the commission would begin work on the government’s proposal from tomorrow. “Our previous  team had also supported retirement age at 60, but it was not implemented,” he said, adding that this time around the case could be different as the government was eager to increase the retirement age.

Ministry of General Administration, which drafted the Civil Service (fifth amendment) Bill, said the new retirement age would reduce the state’s pension burden.

According to Pension Management Office, the state pays more than Rs 26 billion in pension to nearly 2,50,000 retired civil servants every year. On an average, 5,000 civil servants retire annually, causing an increase in pension funds by  nearly Rs 20 million every two years.

If the retirement age limit is increased to 60, the government will have to pay Rs 30 billion in pension, according to the office.

The current retirement age limit of 58 was set in 1992 when life expectancy was 51 years. Average life expectancy at present has increased to 71 years. “That is why increasing the retirement age  is justifiable,” said Nita Pokharel (Aryal), Spokesperson at the Ministry of General Administration.

Many former bureaucrats, however, opined that increasing retirement age from 58 to 60 years  could deprive fresh graduates from government jobs for two years.

Former chief secretary Bimal Koirala said if the government believed that there was justification for increasing the retirement age, it should change laws accordingly with effect from 2019 so that those lobbying for new retirement age with the objective of benefitting from it would be discouraged.

“A recommendation to increase the retirement age was made three years ago, basically with a view to bringing  uniformity in the retirement age of the various service groups,” said Kashiraj Dahal, chairman of Administrative Court.