Retirement age may be lowered to 56

Via viva voce, the House of Representatives on Wednesday passed on second reading the bill lowering the optional retirement age of government workers from 60 to 56.

In a plenary session, lawmakers approved House Bill no. 206, which seeks to amend Section 13-A of Republic Act 8291, otherwise known as the “Government Service Insurance Act of 1997.”

The measure provides government employees, who reach the age of 56, the option to file for retirement and be entitled to an old-age pension for life from the GSIS.

ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro is the principal author of the bill. She said “earlier retirement” is one of the “demands resoundingly voiced” during her formal and informal consultations with public school teachers.

Castro lamented that the persons “who are a few years shy of being a senior citizen” must not be required to perform laborious functions.

Retiring at a later stage, she noted, would not allow government workers, particularly public school teachers, to enjoy their retirement years.

Castro said teachers in the Philippines retire five years later than those in most countries, noting that the retirement age is 60 in most North American, European and Asian countries.

“Teachers usually leave the profession not with satisfied smiles but assaulted by various illnesses; whatever retirement benefits they receive will be spent not for their rest or their own businesses but solely for medical bills,” she said.


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