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Pakistan civil servants may retire at 62

Pakistan is contemplating raising the retirement age for civil servants from 60 to 62 in view of the increased life expectancy and a soaring pension bill//.

Moreover, improving health standards and authorities' penchant by authorities to grant arbitrary extensions to those retiring are being cited among the reasons for the move.

A source in the National Commission on Government Reforms (NCGR) told The News International that the reform body was mulling a proposal in view of the increase in life expectancy.

The source said that the officials attaining the present age of superannuation - 60 - and retiring from service are generally found physically fit and mentally alert to carry on with official work.

Otherwise too, it is said those retiring from senior grades rarely sit idle. They get extensions or seek government consultancies by "using their connections".

However, if the retirement age is raised, then the government "must do away with the controversial trend of re-employment," the official told the newspaper on condition of anonymity.

"In the present situation even bureaucrats of ordinary intellect get re-employment on the basis of favouritism and nepotism," he said.

The enhancement in the retirement age will also help the government reduce its ever-increasing pension bill.

Experts engaged by the government to suggest ways and means for reducing the official pension bill had reportedly recommended to the ministry of finance to enhance the retirement age. Qualified actuaries, who had studies the pension scheme after the government was alarmed that the pension bill would surpass all other allocations of the national budget if not rationalised, had advised the ministry to enhance the retirement age from 60 to 65. The official pension bill has increased manifold during last several years. The federal and provincial governments, which pay more than Rs.47 billion (a bout $775 million) annually on account of pension to retired military and civil personnel, are said to be exposed to "an un-quantified and a continuing liability".

Source-IANS
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