No change in pensions for existing civil servants, only new hires, says Finance Ministry

PUTRAJAYA: Civil servants who are under the pension scheme will not be affected by the finalised Public Service Remuneration System (SSPA), says Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan.

At the Finance Minister II’s first press conference here on Friday (Jan 26), he said the government would ensure that the welfare and well-being of civil servants and pensioners were always protected.

“The government does not intend to change (the pension scheme) for those who already have it. If the civil servant has worked for the government, nothing will change – (only) those who have just entered (the civil service), they will be on a contract basis for now.

ALSO READ : Govt assures retirees pension amount will not decrease, says Anwar

“Those who are already in the current system, we will not change, that is the promise we have made,” he said.

Treasury secretary-general Datuk Johan Mahmood Merican was also present.

Amir Hamzah, who was appointed as Finance Minister II on Dec 12 following a Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, said the government had allocated RM31bil this year, for pension payments to retirees, with the figure expected to increase to RM120bil in 2040.

He also pointed out that in terms of the country’s financial management, 48% of the Budget was allocated to emoluments and pensions.

“If we can lighten the (government’s) existing burden, we can channel the surplus to other areas important for the people and the country such as education and better infrastructure,” he said.

He said the government understood the importance of civil servants and was committed to improving the welfare of civil servants including giving out a RM2,000 bonus next month and an allocation of RM2.4bil to build, maintain and refurbish quarters for civil servants, teachers, hospital staff as well as policemen, military personnel, and firemen.

ALSO READ : Govt to foot some RM120bil in pension payments if new salary scheme not introduced, says Zahid

“The government will also finalise the salary adjustment for civil servants this year after reviewing the SSPA.

“Overall, the government is sensitive (to the situation on the ground) and will do what is important for the good of civil servants,” he said.

Public Service Department director-general Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz, in a circular dated Jan 15, said that a new method for the permanent appointment of civil servants would be introduced to strengthen the public service remuneration system in Malaysia,

He said Cabinet Ministers had also decided that in the interim, hiring of civil servants for permanent positions would be conducted through a contract of service (COS) system,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was reported to have said that the recruitment of new civil servants on a contract basis was for a short period before the Cabinet approved a new policy of non-pensionable permanent employment. – Bernama