Senate committee asked to rethink changing mandatory retirement age

Workers are transported on a truck to a construction site in Bangkok on July 23, 2020. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

A subcommittee, of Thailand’s Senate Committee on Social Development and Affairs of Children, Youth, Women, Elderly People and Under-privileged people, has proposed a rethink and delay of a plan to increase the mandatory retirement age of government officials from 60 to 63.

The panel has cited five reasons that the plan, which was originally to be implemented in 2018, should be revised or further delayed.

Firstly, the panel said that the Government is now in the process of restructuring the bloated manpower resource in the public sector, whose salaries account for 1.1 trillion baht each year, or one-third of the annual budget.

The increase in the retirement age may hamper the plan to reduce the workforce and to introduce new technology to replace manpower in the future.

Secondly, the panel said that the COVID-19 pandemic could affect Thailand’s financial situation for up to ten years and, if the age of retirement is to be raised, there will be more officials in the government bureaucracy, which means an increased financial burden on the tax payer.

Thirdly, the civil service regulations allow for an increase of retirement age for certain jobs which run short of personnel.

Fourthly, the panel pointed out that, if the retirement age is increased, there will be fewer opportunities for younger officials to move up the career ladder.

Finally, the panel said that, if any government unit wants to keep retiring officials on the payroll, they can selectively hire them on contractual or temporary bases, without the need to increase the retirement age.


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