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Published Date: Feb 10, 2021

Jhagra Highlights Need Of Revisiting Various Rules Pertaining Pension

ISLAMABAD, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 10th Feb, 2021 ) :KPK Minister for Finance , Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra Wednesday said that the civil service and public servants rules needed to think for bringing reforms in the existing mechanism of pensions. He said this while sharing his views with the participants of the dialogue ‘Government Pensions and Future Fiscal Sustainability,’organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), in collaboration with Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) here . “We need to revisit various existing rules regarding pension without compromising pension rights of everyone,” Jhagra said 5 million public servants could be benefited from such reforms in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. He said that both retirement and pension rules needed to be revisited and current and future pay and pensions structure be analyzed simultaneously.

Chairperson Pay and Pension Commission, Nargis Sethi, informed the participants that the present commission was different as it encompassed members from both public and private sector. The commission is trying to come up with out of box solutions. Besides, after the actuarial study, the commission will suggest a self-sustaining pension system and its institutional framework and implementation framework, she added.

Hasaan Khawar, Team Leader, SEED, earlier suggested that the easiest reform would be to take care of the future pension liabilities.

“Thus, we need to freeze those liabilities as soon as possible. The more difficult part of the reforms,” he said.

We needed to fix the existing defined benefit scheme for employees and establishing credibility of any new pensions system would be important, Khawar concluded.

Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director, SDPI, while presenting an overall outlook of government pensions, said that the pension budget at the federal level had seen a growth of over 20 percent annually during the last five years.

This expense towards pensions will double every four to five years. For Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial budget, he explained, the pensions had grown 10 times between 2010 and 2019. This is faster than the growth of overall revenues of the province.

He added further that various commissions in the past had proposed some reform measures to manage the burden of pensions.

He said that an evaluation was needed as to what were the difficulties in implementing the advice given in those reports already available. Former Chairperson, Federal board of Revenue,Syed Shabbar Zaidi was of view that there should be a national pension authority responsible for pension payment throughout the country.

He highlighted that the accumulated liability of pensions today was large to extent that we could not fund it through government own resources.

Member Pay and Pension Commission, Aquil Raza Khoja, pointed out that in some state-owned enterprises pensioners were now double the number of active employees. He suggested that we needed a new pension act totally governing the national and sub-national pensions.