House OKs lowering optional retirement age for gov't workers to 56

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 31) — The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved on Tuesday a bill lowering the optional retirement age for government workers from 60 to 56 years old.

Voting 268-1 with one abstention, lawmakers passed on final reading House Bill 206, which seeks to amend Section 13-A of Republic Act 8291 or The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Act of 1997.

Under the measure, a government employee who is a member of GSIS can avail of retirement benefits if he or she is at least 56 years of age at the time of retirement, has rendered service for at least 15 years, and is not receiving a monthly pension for permanent total disability.

RA 8291 currently provides that a retiring GSIS member could opt to receive a five-year lump sum of benefits, with his monthly pension to be paid after five years, or cash equivalent to 18 months, with the payment of his pension taking effect immediately. Retirement is compulsory at 65 years old.