Teachers Asked to Prepare for Retirement Age Change to 55

In a development that will definitely cause ripples among civil servants, particularly teachers in Kenya, the government is in the process of enacting a law that reduces retirement years from 60 to 55. In a move spearheaded by the Kenya Kwanza regime, it said the reason for this move was to create opportunities for people to get employed, as well as solving issues facing the public service. Let us dive further into this groundbreaking proposition and what it could portend.

The increase in retirement age is, against this background, a government approach to combat youth unemployment and ensure efficient management in the public service sector. However, as Agus et al. state, “in increasing the retirement age the policy-makers load the balance on one side to ensure generational fairness but subordinate stability on the other”.

Debates in Parliament over the Public Service Commission Amendment Bill, 2023 gained momentum as the proponents sought to reduce retirement age from 60 to 55 years because they want the interests of the youths taken into account and provided an opportunity to serve.

The proposed reduction of retirement age has some cost implications to the government in terms of commitments towards pensions. Though in the long run, it may allow young citizens an opportunity since it opens jobs, in the short run, it might strain the pension funds due to the many experienced servants retiring early. Various stakeholders such as Members of Parliament and government officials hold divergent views about the change in retirement age as proposed. Others are for fighting youth unemployment; the majority is scared of the cost and the repercussions thereof, on services.

The new legislation drafted captures the flexibilisation coming from population developments, changes, and labour market. Changes to such legislations are projected to result not only in employment opportunities but also to react to policies already started, like the one recently announced assembling of mobile phones locally fronted by Safaricom.

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