Lawmakers in Chiapas have voted in favor of raising the retirement age for government workers from 52 to 60 and increasing their pension fund contributions from 3% to 13% of their salaries over a period of 10 years.
Twenty-four deputies supported the modifications to the Chiapas State Workers Social Security Institute Law (ISSTECH) while seven opposed the changes. The other nine members of the 40-seat unicameral legislature didn’t attend Tuesday’s extraordinary session at which the vote was held.
The new retirement age will only apply to public servants who start working for the Chiapas government after the modified law takes effect.
According to the newly approved legislation, government workers who wish to retire at 60 and access their pension must have completed 35 years of service – an increase of five years for men and seven years for women.
If they don’t fulfill that requirement, they will have to continue working until they reach that length of service, or turn 65, in order to be able to access their government pension.
Deputies who voted in favor of changing the law said that the pension system was designed when life expectancy was just 55 or 60 years. However, life expectancy is now 75 for men and 78 for women, they said, citing data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography.
Many public servants are retiring at an age when they could continue to be productive workers for many years to come, the lawmakers said.
Workers contributions to their pension funds will increase gradually over the coming decade to reach 13% in 2031.
The modifications to the ISSTECH will ensure the viability of the pension system moving forward, according to the lawmakers who voted in favor of the changes.
However, Institutional Revolutionary Party deputies who voted against the changes said that the modifications were to the detriment of the hard-won rights of government workers.
Mario Santis Gómez said that improvements in public health and longer life expectancies shouldn’t be used as justification to increase the burden on older people. He also contended that increasing pension contributions to 13% – a 333% increase over the current 3% – is excessive.
After the modifications were approved, the Chiapas government led by Morena party Governor Rutilio Escandón stressed that workers’ rights will be respected and that not one of the conditions of those already employed by the state will be altered.
Source: Proceso (sp)