At present the voluntary retirement age of government employees is 25 years of service, according to the Public Servants Retirement Act 1974. But there seems to be quite a bit of disagreement among public servants as to what it should be.
Veteran economist, Dr Mohammed Farashuddin, in his Pay-scale Proposal 2015, proposed that the age requirement should be reduced to 20 years of service. The recommendation, however, has been overlooked. The government passed a new act, Civil Service Act 2018, which simply retained all the old rules.
Many government employees cannot leave their jobs even after obtaining better opportunities because if they quit their jobs before the prescribed 25 years period, they will not get any retirement benefits.
Secondly, many of the employees might just want to switch their jobs because they no longer feel drawn to it. However, it's difficult for someone to take the risk of changing their job after spending 25 years in just one organisation without having any job protection.
Most importantly, reducing the retirement age requirement will also benefit the government as it may be more cost effective.
Jahangir Alam, By e-mail