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Between lines: New retirement age 60

Published: 16th March 2013 09:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th March 2013 09:20 AM   |  A+A-

Finance Minister K M Mani virtually pulled off a coup on Friday by announcing in the state budget that those who enter government service from April 1, 2013, will retire at the age of  60. He  also underscored that the government will not hike the pension age of serving employees. Mani did not read out the  contentious portion on the pension age  in his budget speech.

Confronted by mediapersons in a post-budget briefing, Mani stressed that the government is ensuring benefits for  the jobless youth by hiking the pension age. “The government states in unequivocal terms that the pension age of  existing employees will not be increased. Not now, not later,’’ Mani promised.

“In tune with the national pension scheme entailing participatory pension, the pension age of  those entering govt service will go up to  60. Since the pension age of  existing employees is not hiked, it will not affect the interests of  the youth in any way,’’ he added.

With the crucial announcement, the Finance Minister has taken the sting out of  the criticism of various youth organisations that the government was planning to hike the pension age on the sly. At the same time, the youth outfits cannot blame the government for hiking the age of those entering government service in future  since they are poised to have additional years of  service.

But serving staff will have to be content with a service of 56 years. When questioned on why the pension aspect was not read out in the  course of  his budget speech, Mani maintained that “he might have missed it as he felt uneasy with a gas  problem  for some time’’.

The Opposition termed his act as a disrespect to the Assembly. “One should take responsibility for the decisions taken,’’ said former Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac.



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