Govt staff retiring in Oct can opt for service extension

Punjab government's decision to offer an extension of one year in service to its retiring employees will be applicable from October. Employees will be given an option to continue at the same salary. They will get no increments in salary during the extension period but will get any due promotions.

"The decision is likely to be implemented for employees retiring October onwards," principal secretary (finance) Satish Chandra said. "When the employee retires after the extended year, he will be given all the due retirement benefits calculated on the basis of the last drawn salary."

The decision was taken by the Punjab cabinet in a meeting on August 28 and involves amendment of Punjab Civil Service rules before a notification came be issued.

Punjab's Class IV employees retire at 60 years, while medical college teachers retire at the age of 62. For all other government employees the retirement age is 58 years.

"However, the decision does not apply to the IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service (IFS) officers working in state. It also does not apply to any one from the all India services," Chandra added.

The decision to give the extension was taken to meet the shortage of 35,000 employees who are expected to retire in next one year. Since, the move may affect employment prospects of the youth, the cabinet increased the maximum age limit for recruitment into government service from 37 to 38 years.

Interestingly, in April 2010, the state cabinet while rejecting a move to increase the retirement age by two years, had increased the age for entry into government service from 35 to 37 years.

In January 2010 also, the state had offered its employees retiring between January 22, 2010 to December 31 2010, an year's extension in service. However, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had quashed the decision on the grounds that the offer was unsustainable. The court averred that extension in service can be offered only in "exceptional circumstances" and the state had not listed any such circumstances to justify its decision.

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