THE LAST TIME THE GOVT EXTENDED THE RETIREMENT AGE OF CENTRAL GOVT EMPLOYEES WAS IN 1998. IT WAS ALSO A TWO-YEAR EXTENSION FROM 58
THE government is planning to extend the retirementage of all central government employeesbytwoyears--from the current 60 to 62 years.
Sources said that an inprinciple decision has been taken in this regard and the department of personnel and training (DoPT) has begun the work to implement the same. A formal announcement to this effect is expected this year itself. The last time the government extended the retirement age of central government employees was in 1998.
It was also a two-year exten sion from 58. This was precededbytheimplementation of the 5th Pay Commission, which had put severe strain on government's finances.
Subsequently , all state governments followed the Centre's policy by extending the retirement age by two years.
Public sector undertakings followedsuittoo.
The decision to extend the retirement age is welltimed both politically and economically .
The UPA government reckonsthemovewouldbea masterstroke. At a time when it is buffeted by several corruption cases, it is felt that the extension of the retirement age will go down wellwiththe middleclasses.
Economicallyalso,themove makes sense because by deferring payment of lump sum retirement benefits for a large number of employees by two years, the government would be able to manage its finances better.
"An in-principle decision has been taken to increase the retirement age by two years within this year itself.
This would reduce the burdenonthefiscfromone-time payment of retirement benefits for employees including defence and railways personnel," an official involved in the discussion said. With the fiscal consolidation high on the government's agenda, this deferment would come handy .
There's some flip side too if the retirement age is extended by two years.
Those officials empanelled as secretaries and joint secretaries would have to wait longer to actually get the posts. And of course, there is the issue of average age profile of the civil servants being turning north. It is also felt that any extension is not being fair with a bulk of people who still look for jobs in thegovernment.
However, officials point out that at least it prevents an influential sectionof thebureaucracy to hanker for post-retirement jobs with the government like chairmanship of regulatory bodiesortribunals.
"As it is, a sizeable section of senior civil servants work for three to five years after the retirement in some capacity or the other in the government,” said a senior government official. The retirement age of college teachers and judges are also beyond 60.
As per a study, the future pension outgo for the existing Central and State government employees is estimated at a staggering R1,735,527 crore or 55.88% of GDP at market prices of 2004-05.
source: The financial express dt 02.05.2011