Education

TSC Reduces Teachers Retirement Age To 55, Asks Teachers To Get Ready For Retirement

In new reforms, the Teachers Service commission is set to reduce teachers retirement age from 60 to 55 if the bill to change their mandatory retirement age gets passed in parliament.

The Kenya Kwanza government is resolute in its efforts to ensure that older public officers exit service to create opportunities for the youth.

A parliamentary debate on lowering the mandatory retirement age from 60 to 55 years is underway, aimed at providing young individuals with employment opportunities within the public service.

Individuals nearing the age of 55 will undergo training on life after retirement before being removed from the payroll upon reaching this age threshold.

On Thursday 3rd August 2023, the National Assembly’s Labour committee, while considering the Public Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2023, had said it will introduce an amendment to the proposed legislation to cap the retirement age at 55.

The Bill sponsored by Embakasi Central MP Benjamin Gathiru also seeks to amend the current Act by prescribing that no officer should be in any acting capacity beyond six months.

Kangundo MP Fabian Muli said if the committee is to serve the interest of the youth, then it should propose further amendments to the Bill to reduce the retirement age.

“We need to think further and reduce the age to 55 to make the youth of this country proud,” Mr Muli said.

Muli stated that if the committee neglects to include the amendment for age reduction, he would personally propose the change.

Ken Chonga, the MP for Kilifi South, emphasized the importance of the committee amending the pertinent legal provisions concerning the retirement age.

“We must understand how the retirement age of 60 years was determined so that we can revise those provisions,” Mr. Chonga remarked.

Lunga Lunga MP Mangale Munga, while supporting the reduction of the retirement age, said there is a need to cater for the growth of young people.

“Why 60 years? It should be made 55 years old so as to make space for the young people. That is a proposal, it might be popular or unpopular but that is what I think,” Mr Munga said.

Mr Gathiru said: “I have given the committee leeway to amend the Bill but we should not lose the meaning and its intention,” Mr Gathiru said.

If the proposals are approved, it will signify that a significant portion of civil servants projected to retire within the next five years will leave service earlier, leading to extensive implications, including adding strain to a government already grappling with financial challenges due to a heightened pension burden.

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The mandatory retirement age was raised from 55 to 60 years in 2009 as the government faced challenges in managing a growing pensions bill.

In the six months leading to December 2021, the National Treasury disbursed Sh69.22 billion in pension and gratuity payments. A 2016 audit revealed that 35 percent of employees in the national government were between the ages of 51 and 60 years.

According to the Public Service Commission (PSC) annual report for the Financial Year 2021/2022, a total of 3,958 officers exited the service across 47 ministries, departments, and agencies.

The Public Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2023 proposes that a person may serve in an acting capacity for a period ranging from at least 30 days to not exceeding six months.

Under the proposed legislation, an individual can only be appointed to hold a public office in an acting capacity after meeting all the qualifications required for that specific position.

“An acting appointment shall be in favour of a public officer who is duly qualified and competent to perform the duty and not undermine the expeditious appointment or deployment of a competent person to the public office concerned,” reads the Bill

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