Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Civil Service Retirement Age To Be Raised To 58

The government is set to raise the retirement age for civil servants to 58 years from the present 56 in response to a proposal by the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs), sources familiar with the matter said.

The decision to raise the retirement age had already been finalised by the government and an announcement would be made very soon, a source told The Edge Financial Daily.

Cuepacs president Omar Osman, however, said the union was unaware of any such decision and had not heard anything from the government since its last meeting earlier this month.

Earlier this month, Cuepacs said the government had agreed to consider several of its requests, including raising the retirement age limit to 60, scrapping the efficiency level assessment test, reinstatement of critical and housing allowance for the support group and pension payments to be based on actual years of service.

Cuepacs had also asked for an honorarium payment of RM2,000 for each government employee in lieu of non-payment of bonus last year, but this was rejected by the government.

Malaysia is the only country in Southeast Asia, apart from Brunei, where the retirement age is 56. In neighbouring Singapore, the retirement age is 62.

RAM Holdings Bhd chief economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng said there was a need to extend the retirement age in Malaysia to be in line with international standards and demographic trends. “Life span has increased now with modern healthcare. The increase in the retirement age could also reduce the need to recruit new workers in certain sectors which are over-employed,” he said when asked to comment on the government’s decision. Nonetheless, he said those who wanted to retire voluntarily must be allowed to do so.

He said a decision to increase the retirement age would particularly benefit services like local authorities, the police force and medical care that now faced acute shortage of experienced personnel.

Yeah said for the sectors where there was a shortage of skilled and experienced workers, this would be an opportune time to increase productivity and for the older workers to share their wealth of knowledge.

“But there has to be a balance in terms of retaining skilled or experienced workforce versus the increase in expenditure outlay. As long as productivity of the worker is maintained, raising the age and the related expenditure would be justified,” he said.

Yeah said several other factors were also crucial in extending the retirement age, particularly with regards to workers whose productivity was suspect.

There must be proper evaluation to weed out the deadwood. Also, extending the retirement age means that those in line for promotion might have to wait longer,” he said.

Yeah said a decision by the government to raise the retirement age limit for the civil service would have no bearing on the private sector as each dealt with different skill sets. (The Edge Daily)
***** While it is good for those sectors which are considered crucial and where there is a chronic shortage of staff, it is the extension for the useless deadwood who pervade the entire public service that is worrying. The government should include a compulsory early retirement provision whereby those who are unproductive, spend more time in the canteen or generally of no bloody use are sent packing years before they reach the age of retirement. And the government should exercise this option ruthlessly.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are pros and cons of extending the retirement age. As mentioned, extending the deadwoods will only tax our system to the limit. One option that is worth considering is to follow the practice of the private sector where after the official retirement age, those who are still productive can be extended on a year-to-year contract. You'll be surprised how hard people work when they are one a year-to-year contract.

56 is relatively young if your health is good. Retiring after a lifetime of working hard can have a negative effect on one's health. Your brain and body suddenly stop functioning and you are just like a car that's being put to storage. After a while, everything seizes up and stop functioning.

9:14 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In canada the average retirement age is 62. They have abolished the mandatory retirement requirement in most of the provinces. They claimed that forcing somebody to retire due to the age factor is a discrimination. Malaysia is supposed to be a free democratic country. I personally feel that forcing somebody to stop working at the age of 56 is not appropriate. We should re-examine the retirement age in Malaysia.

1:02 AM GMT+8  

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