Punjab move to extend retirement age to benefit 30,000 employees

Around 30,000 employees will benefit from the Punjab government's decision to increase the retirement age of those who are to retire this year and the next. The government has also inserted a clause that allows it to grant another years' extension. Highly placed sources said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal cleared the file in this regard late on Monday. With this, employees, retiring between October 31 this year and September 30 next year, will be given a one year extension and employees retiring after October 2013 will also be given a one year extension till 2014.

The employees will be given due promotions during this period and will also receive other financial benefits. Salary and other perks will remain the same. The employees will virtually retire at the age of 60 from the present 58 years, if the government wants, as per the amended rules proposed by the finance department.

On August 28, the cabinet had increased the retirement age of employees by a year but for that the Punjab Civil Service Rules had to be amended before a notification could be issued. Class IV employees retire at 60 years, while medical college teachers retire at the age of 62. All other government employees retire at 58.

The finance department had written to the chief minister for the retirement age to be increased to 60 years and not by a year. This year and the next, around 30,000 employees are set to retire, the highest in many years. On an average, around 12,000 to 15,000 employees retire. By increasing the retirement age the government expects to save Rs 1,000 crore per 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.

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