Increase in AP retirement age raises many a question

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on November 25, 2017 Published on June 10, 2014

About three-fourths of 18,000 vacancies in undivided AP are now in the residuary state

The decision of new Andhra Pradesh Government to increase retirement age from 58 years to 60 years is more than fulfilling a commitment given in the election promise of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

The file, which was signed by Naidu immediately after swearing in as Chief Minister of the residuary state on Sunday, has more implications in finance, administration and politics, say experts. “From financial point of view, the first impression among us is that it will prove to be a wise-measure as the outgo on account of retirement/pensionary benefits could be postponed for a couple of years,” a senior Government official told Business Line.

Then comes the question of replacement of staff. According to official data, about three-fourths of 18,000 vacancies in undivided Andhra Pradesh are now in the residuary state. Extension in service of existing employees would cut down the need for fresh recruitment.

“More than the financial aspects, the work pressure for the Government is high in today’s context and the administration would stand to gain by retaining experienced and already working staff instead of facing staff crunch by way of recruitments and training them,’’ he explained.

Two-State tangle

As the employee bifurcation has not been completed, retirements at this juncture would only add to administrative hassles due to confusion in identifying and liability of pensionary benefits between the two states and honouring them, according to D Murali Mohan, Co-chairman of Seemandhra Employees Federation in Secretariat.

“Further, in the order to serve basis division of employees currently in force, in Hyderabad alone, 4,600 employees from Telangana are working for Andhra Pradesh government, including 518 in the Secretariat. Similarly, about 100 from Andhra Pradesh are in Telangana Secretariat. What is their fate now in the line of new decision of AP government has to be clarified,” he said.

This may also result in a fresh demand from Telangana State Government employees for a similar hike in superannuation age limit. “From personal as well as administrative angle, this will clear a lot of dust. We are discussing the issue before taking this up before Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao,” said a senior functionary of Telangana employees’ body.

Rao had only announced one ‘Telangana increment’ after taking over as first Chief Minister of the new State.

Interestingly, the government machinery is yet to zero in on an exact figure on the quantum of retirements which would now get extended and the financial impact. Former Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy had actually got a file prepared but in the context of two states today, this had to be reworked, say officials.

As per the salary data of the united Andhra Pradesh, about 11 lakh government employees and over 68 lakh pensioners received their last salary from the common exchequer on May 24, 2014 to pave way for division of state from June 2, 2014.

Not surprisingly, employees are elated over the unexpected announcement by Naidu on the first day of assuming office.

Published on June 10, 2014

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