Maintain pension scheme currently enjoyed by civil servants, Cuepacs urges govt

SEREMBAN: The government should not abolish the pension scheme currently being enjoyed by eligible civil servants, says Cuepacs president Datuk Dr Adnan Mat.

He said if it was considering doing away with this, then the government should start by stopping pensions being enjoyed by politicians and political appointees.

Adnan said it should also not be made compulsory for new hires in the civil service to contribute to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) like workers in the private sector as the public sector salary scheme was still low.

“Our stand is that if the government wants to implement something, it must be based on the principle of not reducing the current benefits enjoyed by civil servants at the moment.

“The government should ensure that the salary received today is able to provide for the wellbeing of civil servants and at the same time, allow them to save for their retirement,” he said.

On Wednesday, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the government has to spend some RM120bil to cover pension payments by 2040 if new salary schemes for hiring public officers are not introduced.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the government will introduce a new civil service hiring policy, which will include a new pension scheme.

He said under this method, new intakes into the civil service will contribute to retirement schemes like the EPF and the Social Security Organisation (Perkeso).

Public Service Department director-general Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz, hade also prior to this said that the relevant laws were still being amended to allow for the creation of a new civil service recruitment method and that the new recruitment method, once implemented, would reduce the country’s fiscal burden.

Adnan said the government should first hold engagement sessions with stakeholders before considering any proposal which includes making it mandatory for new civil servants to contribute to the EPF rather than the pension scheme.

“Although there are serving civil servants who have chosen the EPF contribution scheme, the majority prefer the pension scheme because it is considered better and guarantees well-being after retirement,” he said.

He said if financial constraints were preventing the government from continuing with the public service pension scheme, the abolishment of pensions to MPs, assemblymen and those appointed to executive positions such as exco, minister, deputy minister has to be first stopped.

”The abolition of pensions to this group first is the right step because most of them have only served around five years.

“This group not only receives high allowances and allocations while serving but also has various privileges compared to civil servants who on average serve more than 30 years,” he said.