Why public sector workers are in a rush for retirement

Tuesday September 17 2019

 

By Mussa Juma @TheCitizenTz news@tz.nationmedia.com

Arusha. Scores of the employees in the public institutions are reported to have requested for early or voluntary retirement in order to earn lump sum terminal benefits.

The favoured arrangement will continue until 2023 after the retired will only be paid small amounts in instalments for as many years in their lives.

A trade union official confirmed here yesterday that there was a rise of employees in the public sector, including the civil service, were keen for early and voluntary employment.

Winston Makere, the secretary general of Researchers, Academicians and Allied Workers Union (Raawu) revealed this at the start of a seminar attended by the union leaders.

He said an arrangement under which a retired person would instantly be paid up to 50 per cent of the gross terminal benefits upon leaving job would end in 2023.

According to him, the arrangement looked attractive and that was why scores of the employees in their sunset years in the public service want to call it quits before the 2013 deadline.

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“Many employees are requesting for early retirement because they are attracted by this formula,” he told delegates of the five day seminar.

The formula has been used by the now defunct Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF and the Local Authority Pension Fund (LAPF.

Mr Makere said the increasing number of employees seeking early retirement has not been taken well by the government.

According to him, already the Public Service Commission has stopped processing such requests.

He added that RAAWU would press for dialogue on the matter and that it would stick to the retired workers receiving at least 50 per cent of the gross terminal benefits.

“ This matter should be resolved through a dialogue,” he pointed out, noting that they would struggle to convince the government to bow to their request of 50 per cent or 40 per cent.

He further added that RAAWU in collaboration with the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (Tucta) are also striving to force the government to reduce taxes paid by wage employees. A few years ago, the government announced that minimum wage earners - employees receiving a maximum of Sh170,000 - would be exempted from Pay As You Earn (PAYE) deductions.

Mr Makere is a member of a board formed on a directive of President John Pombe Magufuli which was tasked to review the tax burden on the workers and advise the head of state accordingly.