FDD to reverse retirement age increase

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The opposition Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) says it will repeal the statutory instrument which was signed by government for increasing the retirement age from 55 to 65 years if it forms government.


FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said the decision by government contradicts the constitutional provision that all public service workers were free to retire upon reaching the age of 55 years.


Mr. Mwanza said increased retirement age was irrational as it did not take into account crucial social and economic realities obtaining in the country’s labour industry.


In a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today, Mr. Mwanza noted that Zambia had a young population with over 80 percent of it being under the age of 45 years.


He wondered when room for young people would be created if people were forced to remain in office until the age of 65.


Mr. Mwanza said it was only right for people to be given an opportunity to retire while they still had energy and drive to enjoy the fruits of their labour.


And Mr. Mwanza has noted that some workers, through their respective unions, rejected the proposal to increase the retirement age from 55 years to 65 years.


He urged government to learn to consult and listen to the voices of the people before making major decisions adding that good governance required inclusiveness.


On November 19 this year, Acting President Guy Scott signed the statutory instrument to effect the change of retirement age from 55 to 65 year.


The statutory instrument states in part that, ‘an officer in the public service shall retire on the 65th anniversary of the date of officer’s birth’.


The signing of the statutory instrument attracted opposition from the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Secretary General Roy Mwaba who argued that the changes in the retirement age were unconstitutional.