Lower House approves on final reading bill lowering optional retirement age to 56 for gov’t employees

(Eagle News) — The optional retirement age for government employees could soon be changed from 60 to 56.

This was after the House of Representatives, with a vote of 192-0, overwhelmingly approved on third and final reading a bill lowering the optional retirement age of government employees to 56.

There were also no abstentions to House Bill 5509 which sought to amend Section 13-A of Republic Act 8291, also known as the “Government Service Insurance (GSIS) Act of 1997.”

“Respect and humane consideration demand that a person of 55 years — a few years shy of being a senior citizen — should not be required to perform the arduous functions expected of a public-school teacher in the Philippines. At such stage of their lives, public school teachers should at least be given the choice if they wish to rest from the profession and enjoy better and healthy years ahead,” said ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro, principal author of the bill.

She noted that lowering the retirement age for government teachers was one of the topics frequently raised by public school teachers.

She cited that the teachers in the Philippines retire five years later than those in most countries.

If the bill is passed into law, government workers who turn 56 years old may already file for retirement and be entitled to an old-age pension for life from the GSIS.