Labor Minister Joseph Hamilton believes a national conversation on raising the retirement age is needed very soon. He made this disclosure during a recent community outreach in Kaneville, Demerara East Bank. The current public sector retirement age is 55.
Eligibility for National Insurance Scheme (NIS) pension benefit is 60 years.
“As a nation, we need to have a national conversation on the issue of raising the retirement age. Because at least in my opinion when a person retires, he must be able to get his NIS pension that they have contributed to for years, ”he said as he outlined the Government’s plans to introduce retirement training programs that will see them rejoin the workforce. The training programs will be implemented by the Industrial Training Board (BIT).
“We do some different types of training because when we talk about training all the time, we always talk about training young people only. I think we have to put together training programs for retirement. A woman aged 55 or a man aged 55 who is retiring and still strong and healthy, they are mature and have experience; they can still give to the community, ”added Hamilton.
Against this background, he noted that BIT will soon be launching programs to retrain retirees to return to the workforce.
The Commission of Inquiry (CoI) in 2016 recommended to Guyana’s public service, among other things, that the retirement age for new entrants to the public service, and those currently in the public service under 50, retire at 65, with the option of retiring after 60 years.
“It is argued that for public servants, 55 is too early to retire. Testimonials to the Commission support and advocate for a higher retirement age for public service staff, ”said the CoI. He added that the advocacy for an increase in the retirement age is to provide for the retention of valued, experienced and skilled professionals.
According to the CoI, the argument is that, at the age of 55, public servants would have gained in-depth knowledge and wide experience in public management and in their professional and specialist fields, so it is one of the arguments used to justify a second – employing retired public servants on contracts immediately after retirement.
Public sector organizations such as the Bank of Guyana, the National Insurance Scheme, the Guyana Revenue Authority, and the staff of the Guyana Audit Office have a retirement age of 60 years. The retirement age for staff at the University of Guyana is 65, and for members of the Judiciary and Auditor General, the retirement age is 65.
The Private Sector also has a higher retirement age than the public service based on pension schemes that cater for retirees between the ages of 60 and 65, and without a fixed retirement age for the best executives. Similarly, there is no retirement age for parliamentarians and Ministers. (G1)

Previous articleA single gun stole the Jettoo Lumberyard in broad daylight