The ban on monthly pension payments for retired civil servants working for 16 publicly funded organisations should be shelved, a government-appointed review committee recommended yesterday. Ronald Arculli, chairman of the committee set up to study the issues involved in post-retirement employment of senior officials, argued that former officials should not have to forgo job opportunities just because they received a pension. To prevent former officials from drawing double pay from the public purse, the government in the 1990s suspended pension payments to those with full-time paid jobs with the 16 organisations, among them universities, the Hospital Authority and the Monetary Authority. 'Pension payments do not mean forgoing your job opportunities after retirement,' Mr Arculli said. 'A pension package is there to provide protection for one's life after retirement.' However, Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, a member of the review committee, disagreed. He said retired civil servants should not receive pension payments and salaries from publicly funded organisations at the same time. Mr Ho and Civic Party leader Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, also a committee member, said they would not support the panel's recommendation without a general review of the employment of retired civil servants in all other quasi-government agencies or publicly funded bodies. In recommending dropping the pension restriction, the committee also noted a number of anomalies in the current arrangements. For example, there were no objective criteria for choosing which bodies were subject to the ban. Also, a retired civil servant working in a separate legal entity set up by one of the specified organisations could still receive a pension. Half of the specified entities are universities or education institutes. Others include the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Office of the Ombudsman.