House approves lower optional retirement age for state workers

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2023 05:48 PM

MANILA — The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to lower the optional retirement age for government personnel to 56 from 60. 

A total of 268 solons voted for the House Bill 206, one voted in the negative, and 1 abstained.

Under the bill, a government worker or GSIS member would be qualified to receive retirement benefits if he or she is at least 56 years of age at the time of retirement, has rendered service for at least 15 years and does not receive a monthly pension for permanent total disability.

The bill consolidates 13 related measures and is officially entitled, “An Act lowering the optional retirement age of government workers from sixty years to 56 years. 

It amends the Government Service Insurance System Act of 1997, which mandates that a retiring member could opt for a 5-year lump sum of benefits, with monthly pension to be paid after 5 years, or cash equivalent to 18 months, with the payment of his pension taking effect immediately. Compulsory retirement is at 65 years.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez said in a statement that the proposed law gives around 1 million workers in the bureaucracy the choice to retire early.

“They can opt to quit working, receive their benefits, do other activities, and enjoy life in retirement with their loved ones even before they become senior citizens,” he said.

Romualdez said for many employees, retiring early would enhance their well-being.

“It’s surely more fun to live life without work-related stress,” he added.

A press release from the Speaker's office cites authors of the consolidated bill saying that their proposed lower optional retirement at 56 years would put the rest of government workers at par with members of the military and the police, with a mandatory retirement age of 56.

The same press release said the authors believes Filipinos need more rest so they could live longer.

The bill will be submitted to the Senate for action.