By Sarah E. Treptow
Impunity Watch Reporter, Oceania
SUVA, Fiji – The re-confirmed interim regime has decreed that Fiji’s retirement age is now 55. The regime has ordered that any public servant over the age of 55 who is still working must retire by April 30, 2009. The age applies to everyone in the civil service, the Fiji Police Force, and the Fiji Prisons Service. The decree exempts top civil servants such as the Commander of the Military Forces, the Commissioner of Police and Auditor General, who shall retire at 65.
New Zealand Public Service Association national secretary, Richard Wagstaff, has said it is a “deplorable” move that discriminates against age and breaches fundamental human rights.
The retirement age in Fiji has always been left at 60, though Bainimarama had ordered the age reduced to 55 soon after the coup in December of 2006. The decision was taken to court where the reduction to 55 was upheld. The Court of Appeals then stayed the decision, effectively keeping the age at 60. This new decree wipes out that Court of Appeals decision. The decree also abolished the Public Service Appeal Board.
The government claims the decree was made to cut Government spending in Fiji’s rapidly shrinking economy.
For more information, please see:
Islands Business – Retirement reset at 55 and appeals scrapped – 15 April 2009
Radio New Zealand International – Fiji regime decrees retirement age is 55 – 15 April 2009
Fijilive – Fiji retirement age fixed on 55 – 16 April 2009
The New Zealand Herald – Fiji slashes retirement age in bid to cut costs – 17 April 2009