Retirement Age of Teachers Set to Decrease As Parliament Contemplates Legislative Change

Parliament has received a bill to change the statutory retirement age for civil servants, forcing teachers and other public officers to consider an early retirement.

The Kenya Kwanza government intends to increase prospects for youth employment by ensuring that senior public personnel retire, with a parliamentary discussion starting to reduce the retirement age from 60 to 55 years.

Public officials approaching the age of fifty-five will receive retirement preparedness training prior to their removal from the payroll. Public officials over 55 have already received training, but they will receive formal notification before retirement.

On August 3, 2023, the National Assembly’s Labour Committee revealed plans to modify the Public Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2023, to set the retirement age at 55. Embakasi Central MP Benjamin Gathiru sponsors the bill, which also aims to restrict acting appointments to a period of six months each.

During the debate, Kangundo MP Fabian Muli called for additional modifications to lower the retirement age, emphasising the importance of promoting youth employment.

He threatened to propose the amendment himself if the committee failed to act appropriately. Kilifi South MP Ken Chonga supported Muli’s thoughts, emphasising the importance of updating the legal requirements governing retirement age determination.

MP Mangale Munga emphasised the necessity of integrating young people into the workforce. However, MP Gathiru warned against diminishing the bill’s basic intent while being open to revisions.

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If implemented, the proposed changes may cause many public staff to retire early, putting a strain on the government’s finances as pension benefits climb. In 2009, the government raised the retirement age to 60 to offset rising pension expenditures.

A 2016 audit indicated that a considerable number of national government employees are between the ages of 51 and 60. The Public Service Commission’s annual report for fiscal year 2021-2022 revealed the departure of approximately 4,000 officers from various ministries, departments, and organisations.

The proposed change also limits acting appointments to a maximum of six months and requires appointed personnel to have all applicable requirements. Acting appointments that lack proper qualifications shall be immediately terminated.

The extension of employment for retired officers, particularly within the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), was terminated in February 2023 by then-CS Public Service Commission Aisha Jumwa.

This instruction sought to enforce the required retirement age of 60, as established in the Public Service Commission Act of 2017, and restrict extensions beyond that age. In order to promote efficient succession management within the public service, Jumwa directed the revocation of existing extensions.

In Our Other News: Future-Proofing Education: TSC’s SWOT and PESTELE Insights

Retirement Age of Teachers Set to Decrease As Parliament Contemplates Legislative Change

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