Voting 268 against one, with one abstention, the House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a bill lowering the optional retirement age for government personnel from 60 years old to 56 years old.
Speaker Martin Romualdez said the proposed law gives the more than one 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.
He 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.
House Bill 206 is a consolidation of 13 related measures.
The measure states that a government worker-GSIS member would be entitled to retirement benefits if he is at least 56 years of age at the time of retirement, has rendered service for at least 15 years and he is not receiving a monthly pension for permanent total disability.
Under RA 8291, a retiring member could opt for a five-year lump sum of benefits, with his monthly pension to be paid after five years, or cash equivalent to 18 months, with the payment of his pension taking effect immediately.
Retirement is compulsory at 65 years old.
Authors of the consolidated bill said 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, whose mandatory retirement age is 56.