By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization has approved a bill seeking to lower optional retirement age among government employees to 56.
The House panel decided to pass the substitute bill, a consolidation of nine measures, proposing amendments to Republic Act 8291 or the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Act of 1997.
“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 age to qualify as a senior citizen, ” AKO BICOL partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe, one of the authors of the bill, said.
The substitute bill seeks to lower the optional retirement age of government workers from 60 years to 56 years. The measure specifically amends Section 13-A of Republic Act 8291.
“The lower retirement age ultimately helps the bureaucracy as it hastens the turnover of government positions to younger professionals, making way for the fusion of fresh blood in public service. Countless cases involving public officers emphasize the need for a younger workforce in government to inject new perspectives and insight into the ranks,” Batocabe said.
“The bill also creates more employment opportunities for those seeking employment in the government and a chance to serve the country,” he said.
The substitute bill provides that a member who retires from the service shall be entitled to the retirement benefits provided that he or she has rendered at least 15 years of service; at least 56 years of age at the time of retirement; and not receiving a monthly pension benefit from permanent total disability.
“This bodes well for the families of our retirees as well, as our retirees 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.
Other authors of the bill are Reps. Antonio Tinio, Maria Carmen Zamora, Mercedes ‘Didi’ Cagas, Strike Revilla, Nancy Catamco, Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, Marisol Panotes, and Lorna Silverio.