The Congress-led UDF government in Kerala today announced its decision to raise the retirement age of all its employees who join service from next fiscal, to 60.

However, the announcement in the 2013-14 state budget does not bring cheers to existing employees who have to retire on completion of 56 years, as the increase in the superannuation age will cover only new comers.

The increase in retirement age sparked instant protests from youth outfits of the CPI-M and the CPI who took out marches and burnt effigies of Finance Minister K M Mani in front of the secretariat here.

Mani committed a fax paus by not mentioning the retirement age matter during his budget speech in the Assembly triggering a controversy, with the Opposition LDF accusing him of deliberately leaving out the relevant paragraph and misleading the House.

Former Finance Minister T M Thomas Issac alleged that the paragraph concerned was deliberately not read by Mani.

However, at the post-budget press meet, Mani said the paragraph was “inadvertently omitted” as he sat down twice during the two hour-and-45 minute speech, due to back pain.

The government had earlier launched participatory Pension Scheme for its employees who joined service from this fiscal, which also led to protest by pro-left unions.