On Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan gave orders for increasing the retirement age. The orders were given to the Ministry of Finance for exploring the possibility of surging the superannuation age limit of the civil servants and early retirement of the dead wood—if this decision is implemented it could transform the bureaucratic system.
The present superannuation age of the civil servants is 60 years; however, the average life expectancy has surged to 69 years, giving room for boosting the limit by at least 3 years.
The Finance Ministry was instructed by the PM to complete the deliberations within 2 days.
As per the sources in the Ministry of Finance, the orders of the Prime Minister could not be honoured within 48 hours as there was a need for studying the implications of the proposal in depth.
The finance ministry has asked for more time from the PM Office for reviewing the proposal that has got excessive financial and administrative implications.
As per the instructions given by the PM Office the prime minister has been happy to hear about those consultations which would be held by the finance secretary with the Establishment Division and the finance departments of the Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government for evaluating the legal, administrative and financial implications of raising the retirement age and early retirement.
Any change whatsoever that is made in the age limit would need a change in the Civil Service Act of 1973 and the government of PTI does not have any majority in the Senate for getting any bill passed.
There is no concept of early retirement in the civil service, however, it is practised in the armed forces. This has surged the pension bill of the military which is at 77percent of the entire pension bill of the federal government.
PM Khan instructed the finance ministry that these considerations may be completed within 2 days and a mutually agreed report with physical way might be presented for approval.
The Task Force on Institutional Reforms had given the idea of surging the age by 3 years to 63 years. But, the Task Force Chairman—Dr Ishrat Husain only wanted to increase the retirement age of the federal secretaries in the first phase, as per the members of the task force.
However, the other members opposed the move, adding that it would be increasing the legal challenges for the government which led to the postponement of the proposal.