THE president of the Progressive Alliance of Capitol Employees (PACE) is supporting the proposal to lower the retirement age for government employees from 60 to 56.

Renelo Lastierre said the bill will enable the retired employees to enjoy "the fruits of their hard work."

"There are many employees who entered government service at an early age and reached the maximum service of 15 years and retire early to qualify to receive their pension," he pointed out.

The bill seeking to lower the optional retirement age for government workers from 60 to 56 was approved Wednesday, January 25, by the House of Representatives, voting viva voce, on second reading.

House Bill No. 206 was principally authored by Makabayan bloc lawmakers — Alliance of Concerned Teachers Rep. France Castro, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel.

It was consolidated with 12 other similar bills.

Lastierre also said that it is important to consider one's length of service as this is where their membership benefits with the Government Service Insurance System will depend.

If enacted into law, the bill will amend the provision in the Government Service Insurance Act of 1997 that sets requirements on who can be eligible for optional early retirement.

Other preconditions, like a government worker needing to render 15 years of service first and not receiving a monthly pension due to disability, have been retained.*