Bill on early retirement in government passed

December 11, 2018

THE House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a measure that seeks to lower the retirement age of government workers.

House Bill 8683 got 206 yes votes and zero negative.

The bill seeks to lower the retirement age in government by amending Section 13-A of
Republic Act 8291, or the Government Service Insurance Act of 1997, which sets the age of retirement at 60.

Likewise, the bill provides that a government employee, who is a member of the Government Service Insurance System, who retires from the government service shall be entitled to the retirement benefits provided that such member rendered at least 15 years of service; is at least 56 years of age at the time of retirement; and is not receiving a monthly pension benefit from permanent total disability.

Main authors of the bill are ACT Teacher Rep. Antonio Tinio and Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe.

According to Batocabe, with lower optional retirement age the retirees can enjoy a better quality of life through their pension and retirement benefits at an earlier age.

The bill also introduced a provision lowering the age to qualify as a senior citizen.

“This bodes well for the families of our retirees as well, as our retirees will have more time to spend with their loved ones in relative comfort. Our retirees and their families will enjoy the fruits of decades’ worth of labor and will lessen the burden on the family’s spending,” Batocabe said.

For his part, Tinio said public school teachers, although it is harder to be a school teacher in the Philippines than in most countries, teachers in the country retire five years later than those in most countries.

Retirement age is 60 in most North American, European and Asian countries, he said.

“Respect and humane consideration demand that a person of 55 years — a few years shy of being a senior citizen – should not be required to perform the arduous functions expected of a public school teacher in the Philippines. At such stage of their lives, public school teachers should at least be given the choice if they wish to rest from the profession and enjoy more good and healthy years ahead,” Tinio said.

Other authors include ACT Teacher Rep. France Castro, Compostella Valley Rep. Ma. Carmen Zamora; Davao del Sur Rep. Mercedes Cagas; Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing and Cavite Rep.  Strike Revilla.