Solon wants to fast-track passage of measures for government retirees

A party-list lawmaker at the House of Representatives is pushing for the immediate passage of a set of measures catering to retirees, particularly the option for early retirement and an increase in their monthly pension.

In a statement on Wednesday, AKO Bicol Party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. said among these measures includes House Bill No. 86, or the proposed optional early retirement at 56 years old for all government employees, which has hurdled committee level this week.

Garbin said HB 86 also hastens the turnover of government positions to younger professionals, “making way for the infusion of fresh blood in public service.”

Garbin also highlighted another measure, which seeks to update the computation of basic monthly pension and give retirees more say in the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

HB 82 proposes to amend the Government Service Insurance Act of 1997 by defining basic monthly pension and increasing the membership of the GSIS Board of Trustees.

“We must change the computation of government employees’ pension from the current averaging mode to the gross monthly computation. Binigay na natin sa mga government employees, wag na nating bawiin (We already gave it to government employees, so let’s not take it back),” Garbin said.

Whereas basic monthly pension was previously computed as just a fraction of a government employee’s average monthly compensation at the time of retirement, the proposal seeks to have the basic monthly pension equal to the latest gross monthly compensation of the covered employee.

“Public officers and employees spent the best years of their lives serving the government and the public. They deserve to be given dignity at work for services rendered during their productive years,” Garbin added. Garbin said the last bill in the set of measures is HB 83, which proposes to increase the minimum monthly pension of Social Security System (SSS) beneficiaries from PHP1,200 to PHP3,200 for members with at least 10 years of accredited service.

The same bill also increases the monthly SSS pension from PHP2,400 to PHP4,400 for members with 20 years of service.

“There is a need to ensure that the benefits given to covered employees are abreast with current financial realities,” Garbin said. (PNA)