12 Mar 2009

Fiji Attorney General says lower retirement age not "catastrophic"

8:29 pm on 12 March 2009

Fiji's Attorney General says lowering the age of retirement by five years will not leave a vacuum at senior levels of public service.

The Court of Appeal ruled yesterday to drop retirement age for civil servants from 60 to 55.

The ruling overturns a High Court decision at the end of last year to keep it at 60 after the interim government lowered it at the start of the year.

Critics from the health and education sectors warn that the ruling will mean a loss of experienced workers who can train younger people.

But Aiyaz Sayed-Khayum insists this is not the case.

"By having the retirement age at 55 obviously does not mean that everybody who has reached the age of 55 will all be sent home. There will be people who obviously will need to be re-engaged on a contractual basis as has been done previously"

Aiyaz Sayed-Khayum says no government would force all civil servants to retire upon hitting retirement age but the ruling will pave the way for important public sector reform.