Early retirement for gov’t workers eyed

December 08, 2018

HERE’S good news for government workers who want to retire early and enjoy time with their families.

The House of Representatives approved on second reading House Bill 8683 which seeks to lower the optional retirement age for government employees from 60 to 56.

The bill seeks to amend Section 13-A of Republic Act 8291, otherwise known as the "Government Service Insurance Act of 1997."

The amendments to Section 13-A entitled Conditions of Entitlement provide that a GSIS member who retires from the government service shall be entitled to the retirement benefits if they retire at 56.

One of the principal sponsors, Act Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio, said that although it is harder to be a public school teacher in the Philippines than in most countries, teachers in the country retire five years later than most of their foreign counterparts.

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 added.

Another author, Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe, said with lower optional retirement age, the retirees can enjoy a better quality of life through their pension and retirement benefits at an earlier age, as a bill is already being introduced to lower 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.