Bill to lower retirement age to 60–65 is approved by MPs

Bill to lower retirement age to 60–65 is approved by MPs

Bill to lower retirement age to 60–65 is approved by MPs

Despite criticism from a number of stakeholders, a House committee has adopted a bill that would  set  the retirement age for public employees at 60 and 65 for those with impairments.

In a report submitted to the National Assembly, the Committee on Labour, led by Runyenjes MP Eric Muchangi, noted that age restrictions are not considered discrimination because they are permitted by employment law and practices and promote the retention of young professionals as well as sector continuity.

The committee pointed out that the change would also bring  the  Public Service Commission Act’s pensionable age provision—which is specified as the age of 60 in Section 2 of the Act—into line with the National Social Security Fund Act.

In order to increase the number of job openings available to Kenyans under the age of 60 and to address the issue of an officer acting for longer than six months, the Public Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, sponsored by Embakasi Central MP Benjamin Mwangi (pictured), seeks to amend the Public Service Commission Act 2017. The report recommends that “the amendment to Section 80 be amended to provide for the age of retirement to be 60 years and 65 years for persons with disabilities.”

However, the committee permitted the PSC to retain an officer  after they reached retirement age on the grounds that they  possessed unique knowledge, skills, and competencies after  consulting with pertinent agencies or institutions. The committee’s rare knowledge, abilities, and competencies  should be determined and documented by the commission.

The committee opposed the suggestion of a six-month limit on the time an officer could serve in an acting capacity and instead proposed a 12-month limit, adding that after that time the position should be declared vacant and the officer  should  not be eligible for any acting compensation. According to the committee, limiting it to six months would result in unfair labor practices that would violate both Section 5 of the  Employment Act, which required employers to pay their employees equally for work of equal value,  and Articles 27 and 41(1) of the Constitution, which protect against discrimination and the right to  fair labor practices

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