Extended retirement age hinders youth from being employed
By Eunice Ruth
Sri Lanka Audit Service Association (SLASA) has written to the President requesting him to extend the retirement age of public sector employees in four stages to allow for new recruits to enter the service.
The Association’s Secretary R. M. P. A. Janaka said that recently a decision was made by the Finance Minister in ‘Budget 2022’ regarding extending the retirement age to 65 years. However, it is important to think about the consequences which might arise owing to that. SLASA has however suggested the retirement age in four stages. Accordingly, public sector employees who are 58 years and above currently should be retired at 62, between 57 and 58 at 63, between 56 and 57 at 64 and the persons below 56 at 65. At present, there is 1. 5 million public sector employees and annually 30,000 people who are above 60-years retire, while an equal number of new employees are enrolled.
However, due to the decision taken of extending the retirement age, existing public servants will be on duty for the next five years from 2022, which will affect employment opportunities to about 30,000 prospective new employees. Meanwhile, the maximum age for applying for open recruitment in most public services is 28 years. According to the Sri Lankan education system, graduates will pass out between the ages of 22 and 25. But with the new decision to extend the retirement age, many graduates will be deprived of employments due to exceeding the ‘maximum’ age.
Therefore, it is important to protect the right of students studying in universities to enter the public service under an open stream enrollment. In addition, the people with new updated technological skills will not enter into the public service sector for five years and it will affect the quality improvement of the public services. Also, public servants will not be able to get promotions as the already promoted officers will serve for another five years.