Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to consider increasing the retirement age limit of civil servants and the early retirement of dead wood.
The orders have been made in a bid to transform the bureaucratic structure of the country. The current superannuation of the civil servants is 60 years while the average life expectancy has increased to 69 years. Therefore, the age limit can be increased by at least three years.
The premier has instructed the Finance Ministry to present its deliberations within two days. As per the sources, the PM’s directions could not be implemented in 48 hours, as the ministry needs a thorough study of the implications of the change in age limit.
Hence, the finance ministry has asked for more time from the PM Office to review the proposal that will bring drastic financial and administrative implications.
“The prime minister has been pleased to desire that the finance secretary will hold consultations with the Establishment Division and the finance departments of the governments of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to evaluate legal, financial, and administrative implications of increasing the age of retirement and early retirement,” read the instructions from the PM Office.
Notably, any change in the retirement age limit would be possible only after amendment in the Civil Service Act of 1973. The government lacks a majority in the Senate to get any bill passed.
Moreover, the concept of early retirement exists only in armed forces. It has increased the pension bill of the military, constituting 77 percent of the total pension bill of the federal government.
The idea of raising the age limit was proposed by the Task Force on Institutional Reforms. The Task Force’s Chairman Dr. Ishrat Hussain said that initially, the age limit of federal secretaries should be increased only.
However, the members opposed the move, saying doing so will raise legal challenges for the government. Still, it made it to the PM Office. The increase has been proposed to control the pension-related expense that has significantly increased in recent years.