Govt mulls increase in retirement age

LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan has shown his government’s intentions in black and white to enhance the retirement age of the federal as well as Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa officials, asking the quarters concerned of these three entities to jointly assess the financial and administrative implications of the plan.

An official letter issued from the prime minister’s office says that the prime minister has desired that the (federal) finance secretary will hold consultation with the establishment division and the finance departments of the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments to evaluate legal, financial and administrative implications of increasing the age of retirement and early retirement.

He also desired early completion of deliberations on the proposal and a mutually agreed report with tangible way forward for his approval.

Mr Khan’s PTI also rules Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The official letter did not specify reason behind the move. But officials here said that it could be aimed at deferring the payment of huge amounts of pensions and dues to government officials who retire in bulks every year. An annual around 25,000 government employees retire every year in Punjab alone, adding to the already huge pension and dues bill.

They claimed that the government intended to increase the retirement age by nearly three years. The extension in the minimum age for seeking early retirement, which at present is 25 years of service, will also help serve the same purpose, they said.

Officials said that the government might also intend to retain certain bureaucrats whom it considered vital for it, but who are near retirement.

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