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Bill lowering optional retirement age of gov't workers to 56 reaches plenary

The bill seeking to give government workers the option to retire at age 56 has reached the Senate plenary.

Senator Ramon 'Bong' Revilla Jr. on Wednesday sponsored Senate Bill No. 2444 under Committee Report No. 134 to lower the optional retirement age for state employees from 60 to 56 years old.

The bill will amend Section 13-A of Republic Act 8291 or the Government Service Insurance System Act of 1997.

In his sponsorship speech, Revilla said the bill is in response to the clamor of civil servants and teachers who wish to enjoy their retirement days and benefits "at a much earlier time."

“Huwag ipagkait sa ilan na maranasan ang benepisyo ng retirement life sa mas maagang panahon ano man ang kanilang dahilan dito ay marapat lang na galangin ito at pagbigyan,” he said.

"Ika nga, let them enjoy their pension while they are able to enjoy it," he added.

Moreover, Revilla noted that the committee hearings and technical working group meetings revealed that the individuals covered in lowering the optional retirement age would not affect the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

"Wala po tayong talo dito, when we lower retirement age, the GSIS will not die simply because their separation will mean the entry of new and younger Filipinos," he said, also noting that the bill would not lower the contributors of GSIS.

"This strikes the balance between giving our civil servants the option to retire earlier while ensuring that the actuarial life of the GSIS remains protected," he added.—LDF, GMA Integrated News