• Wed
  • Oct 1, 2014
  • Updated: 4:31am
NewsHong Kong
LABOUR

Hong Kong disciplined services staff want retirement age raised to 60

Overwhelming majority of those surveyed want choice of staying in uniform after 55; staff feel burden of keeping family while waiting for MPF

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 October, 2013, 5:30am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 October, 2013, 5:30am

A survey of Hong Kong disciplined services staff has found overwhelming support for raising the retirement age from the current 55 to 60.

The Sunday Morning Post has seen a copy of a research report that includes the survey and which calls on officials to consider raising the age at which men and women in uniform may stop working.

The disclosure comes days after the government launched a public consultation on ways to solve the problem of the shrinking workforce.

A later retirement age could be part of the solution.

The research report was put together by the Government Disciplined Services General Union, which represents the thousands of disciplined services staff outside the police force. It calls for the retirement age to be raised in stages from January 1, 2015 so that by 2025 it would be 60.

In the survey of 1,062 disciplined services union members between March and June, 96 per cent said current staff should be given the option to choose when to retire between the ages of 55 and 60, plus the opportunity to enter contractual employment after retirement.

Staff associations representing the city's 28,000 police officers have already voiced their support for a later retirement age and this latest report is likely to increase the pressure on the government to consider the position of disciplined services staff.

The Government Disciplined Services General Union, which represents staff associations from customs, immigration, correctional services, fire services and the government flying service, says the gradual approach will balance the interests of civil servants employed under different pension schemes and ensure smooth internal succession.

Joe Chan Cho-kwong, chairman of the Junior Police Officers' Association, said his group agreed with the proposal on setting the new retirement age at 60, though exactly how to implement the change would require further study.

In June, the police association had also suggested that the retirement age should be extended to 60, while giving officers the option to enter contractual employment after turning 55. Chan said that would be more "staff-friendly" than specifying a particular age for compulsory retirement.

Lawmakers have expressed their concerns over the possible effect such a move might have on the promotion chances of younger civil servants.

But Chan Kin-lun from the Fire Services mobilising and control group dismissed them.

"We too have that extra five years," said Chan, 27, adding: "Working longer will also lessen our financial burden after retirement as our generation tends to get married late and our children will likely to still be in school if we are to graduate at 55."

Setting 60 as the age of retirement could also relieve many retired officers of the economic pressure during the five years before they can collect the whole MPF pension, Chan said.

A Civil Service Bureau spokesman confirmed it had received the union's report.

Share

More on this story

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

9

This article is now closed to comments

caractacus
The only criterion for retirement at age 55 from the disciplined services should be physical fitness. If a person is physically able to do the job he or she should be allowed to continue, or if not able, should be put in an administrative position where younger people able to do the physical job are wasted.
Not a big problem.
mercedes2233
I thought the retirement age for most in HK is 60. Why were the disciplined forces given an earlier retirement age in the first place? Since they are customs, immigration, correctional services, fire services and the government flying service, they are not required to 'run after thieves' as a reader suggested.
sipsip1238
Disciplinary forces isn't limited to just cops, but they encompass "harder labour" roles which is why the retirement age was originally set at 55.
If you think about it, customs, immigration and the other services you mentioned do require a certain level of physical fitness under certain circumstances, which brings me back to the reasoning that I'm not sure whether having a 59 year old guarding inmates/saving fire etc will be the best idea, furthermore, those who are in their 50s are most likely doing admin work, which honestly could be done by some new blood offering newer views instead of being dead weight.
SpeakFreely
Extending retirement age is not a long term solution to shrinkage of workforce as this only delay the shortage by few years. People about 55 or close to retirement age generally not very productive unless they have passion about their work ( I doubt how many have this kind of passion). Otherwise we are wasting money to retain higher income workers (normally they are more expensive at 55) and not getting the value.
sipsip1238
I'm not sure how useful a 59 year old cop will be in a run after thieves...
likingming
The govt should keep its employee's wastage rate (turnover rate) as high as that in the 1960-70 when HK was at its golden age. The current low wastage rate is the one of the root problems HK is now facing as witnessed by the large no. of fresh U-grad queueing up for the application of civil servant posts.
mrheh
Raising the retirement age does not bode well for those who are waiting to be promoted. A lot of people near retirement do not make useful contributions in any case so why let them continue.
In response to the comment that everyone gets promoted after sufficient years of service; this is a fallacy. I've known people who have been in the same rank until their retirement.
chuchu59
This is not a fallacy, its a norm. There will definitely be some dead wood in various ranks and due to a multitude of reasons they never get promoted.
chuchu59
Why discriminate against the old? The young are hardly any better. Frankly, though they are still on the payroll, these disciplined officers wont get a single cent more in pensions. The British had left over a system where disciplined services officers get a full pension at the age of 57. The Government saves in pension monthly payments during the extended period. As for letting the young ones have better promotion prospects, they must learn that promotion is not a given and only the best and brightest deserve it. As it is, every Tom **** and Harry gets promoted after sufficient years of service in the government.
 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or