Dechen Dolkar

The Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) increased the superannuation age for civil servants. The decision comes into effect on April 22, the day RCSC issued the notification.

There is an increase in retirement age of three years for executives and specialists, two years for those at professional and management levels, and a year for the supervisory and support (SS) category and operational category.

According to the Bhutan Civil Service Rules and Regulations 2018, the executives and specialists superannuate from service when they turn 60 years, professional and management levels at 58 years, civil servants falling under the category of SS4-SS1 at 58 years, S5-S1 and operational category at 56 years.

Now with the revision, executives and specialists can superannuate at 63, professional and management levels at 60, SS4-SS1 at 59 and S5-S1 and operational category at 57.

According to RCSC, the superannuation age was revised considering the substantial increase in life expectancy to 70.2 years, the expectations of higher returns on human capital investments, and the current human resource gaps brought on by attrition.

However, some of the civil servants said that RCSC has increased more years for top levels. “Does the RCSC assume that lower level life expectancy will be shorter? a civil servant said.

“In reality, the attrition rate in SS4-SS1 level could be high among others and they are the engine of the civil service,” another said.

Meanwhile, an official from RCSC said that the superannuation age for various position categories has been made depending on the unique demands and characteristics of each category.

“Different professions have varied physical, intellectual competency, experience requirements, and demand. While some position categories have physically demanding jobs requiring relatively younger workers, others require deep expertise and intellect,” the RCSC official said. 

The official said that the superannuation age rules have been drawn up considering all these aspects.

Officials from RCSC also said that the career ladder for supervisory and support categories starts from S5 to SS1. SS4 to SS1 are those who climb up from the supervisory and support category and reach the senior supervisory category.

As of December last year, there were 30,194 civil servants.

The executive and specialists constitute 1 percent of the civil servants which stands at 280 civil servants. Professional and management constitute 49 percent which is 14,799, and supervisory and support category constitutes 42 percent which stands at 12,793 out of which 3,824 civil servants in SS4-SS1 level. The operational category consists of 8 percent or 2,372 civil servants.

Last year, the attrition rate in the executive and specialists category was 26.40 percent, professional and management level was 10.17 percent, supervisory and support level was 6.84 percent and operational category was 8.46 percent.

The attrition rate of civil servants last year was 8.62 percent.