The mandatory retirement age for government servants is 60 and optional retirement age is 55. Present life expectancy of Sri Lankan females is around 78 and males 72 respectively due to better medical care in the country. The retirement age was fixed long ago by Britishers during the colonial time when our life expectancy was not so high.

Most of the competent government servants after retirement join the private sector and work productively and gainfully, but if the retirement age of the government employees is extended at least by five years the government can gain the services of these productive employees for further period as they are well experienced and improved their skills on the job and certain employees have been further trained in service locally and in abroad. The pension is paid to retirees without them rendering any service to the state. If the retirement age is extended, the government can obtain the services of these experienced workers and it does not have the burden of paying them a pension during that period. The government servants will favour this option as their salaries are usually higher than their pension.

Another factor is when retirees idle in their retired life usually they die earlier than their employed counterparts due to isolation and frustration caused by idle life. The government should not implement this proposal across the board but selective in extending the service to employees soon-to-be retired. It should assess the past records of would-be retirees taking into consideration their attendance, efficiency, proficiency, indispensability, dedication, etc., otherwise the slackers will also become eligible.

There is a reasonable case to extend the retirement age of government employees. Sixty years of age is not the threshold of deadwood.

A citizen