Jagdishor Panday, The Himalayan Times, 1 Aug 2018
Those serving the government may soon be able to continue working till the age of 60 if the draft of a bill is signed into law.
The draft of the Federal Civil Service Bill, prepared by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, has proposed the retirement age of 60 for those serving the government. If this proposal is approved by lawmakers, there will be uniformity in the retirement age of everyone on the government’s payroll.
At present, civil servants retire at the age of 58, health professionals hired by the government and those working at the Parliament retire at the age of 60, teachers on government’s payroll retire at the age of 63 and those working in courts retire at the age of 65.
The threshold was created after holding consultation with the Public Service Commission. Also, a report prepared by the Federal Administrative Reconstruction Committee, which was led by Kashi Raj Dahal, chairperson of the Administrative Court, had recommended that those hired by the government be allowed to work till 60.
“We believe there won’t be any dispute on this issue, as it was widely discussed before its inclusion in the bill,” said MoFAGA Secretary Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya.
The MoFAGA is planning to table the bill in the Cabinet next week, before registering it at the Federal Parliament Secretariat.
If the government is able to enforce this decision, it can save Rs 7-8 billion per year in pension-related costs, according to Dahal.
The Public Service Commission had recommended that the government set the retirement age for those working for the government at 60 three years ago.
“This will help us retain experienced human resources in the civil service, who currently have to retire at the age of 58,” said PSC Chairperson Umesh Mainali.
“The decision to raise the retirement age bar will not hit productivity as the life expectancy of Nepalis has gone up and many can work till 60 actively.”
Nepalis’ life expectancy rate now stands at around 70.
In South Asia, Bangladesh and Nepal are the only two countries which have set the retirement age for civil servants below 60, according to Mainali.
In Bangladesh, those serving the government must retire at the age of 59.
The draft bill prepared by the MoFAGA has also proposed a contributory pension scheme for government employees to save more costs.
Currently, all the liabilities related to pension rest on the government’s shoulders, which is inflating the state’s recurrent expenditure.
The draft bill has also proposed barring section officers from contesting for the post of joint secretary without working as under-secretary.
“Section officers must work as under-secretaries for at least five months to be eligible for the post of joint secretary,” says the draft of the bill.