JIS News

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Faith Innerarity, has said that a review of the age of retirement of civil servants is currently underway.
Speaking at a Post Cabinet Press Briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister on June 25, Mrs. Innerarity informed that the need to review the age of retirement was as a result of the increase in life expectancy globally, which she noted related to advances in medical science.
“Persons are living longer and therefore they have a much longer productive life. Secondly, the earlier you have retirement, the greater pressure on the social security systems and especially (in respect to) the ratio of the working age population to the dependent population, that balance is extremely important,” she explained.
The Permanent Secretary said that pension schemes were being reformed all over the world due to the “demographic transition towards an aging population.”
“In the case of Jamaica, we have had assistance from the World Bank as part of the pension reform system to look at our public sector pensions. Currently, there are several Acts which guide the determination of retirement, including the terms and conditions,” she further informed.
Mrs. Innerarity noted that the age of retirement varies, but that in most instances, it is 60 years. She said that due to an ageing population, many countries have taken steps to increase the average age of retirement, based on the fact that life expectancy at birth is now much higher.
She informed that a task force is being established to look at the retirement age policy, including representatives from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, the Attorney General, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Auditor General, representatives from the Jamaica Employers Federation, the Confederation of Trade Unions, and the Cabinet Office.
Turning to the retirement age of judges, she noted that judges are persons with years of experience, and that they have certain knowledge which was acquired within a short period of time, “so in most jurisdictions, judges do serve up to age 70 and above. So the idea would really be to move upward the indicators.rather than a downward movement on the basis of the need for a certain level of expertise and the shortage of individuals with that level of knowledge and experience,” Mrs. Innerarity explained.