Increase retirement age from 56 to 65
Dr Tan Seng Giaw
Lumpur, Friday) :
I press the Government truly to implement the proposal to increase
retirement age from 56 to 65.
In the past over 20 years, despite the repeated proposals from various
bodies, the Government has dithered because of certain reasons.
I agree with the statement by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi that retiring at 56 is too early. The number of senior citizens, 60
years and above, is increasing steadily.
The life expectancy of Malaysians continues to improve. Now, its 76 years
for women and 73 for men. Lengthening the retirement age in public and
private sectors is essential.
In the 80s last century, we urged the Government repeatedly to increase
the retirement age. It managed to add one more year. Then, it has been
hesitating ever since. Replying to our questions in Parliament, it has
quoted myriad reasons for the vacillation, such as the government
machinery is complicated, some civil servants are not suitable for
extension of their service after 56, a service of over 35 years is too
long and the promotions of younger people may be affected.
The Prime Minister's Department has listed a number of nations with
retirement age 60 and above: U.K., U.S.A., Sweden, Norway (67), Australia,
Japan (65), Singapore, Thailand (62), China, Korea, The Philippines(60).
Malaysia has only 13 more years to reach its target of becoming a
developed nation. Why should she continue to lag behind other nations on
the retirement age?
If we do not use suitable formula to increase gradually the retirement
age, more young people will have to pay taxes to sustain more senior
citizens. At present, the annual budget has statutory allocations of over
RM20 billion for the remunerations of the King, the Chief Justices, the
Speakers of Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat, payments of national debts and
pensions and gratuities, and so forth. Pensions and gratuities are over
RM5 billion; the amount is increasing yearly.
We would like to see the Government stop dithering and get on with the
gradual increase in the retirement age. We shall continue to remind the
Prime Minister in Parliament.
Dr Tan Seng Giaw
National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong