Civil Servants’ and Veterans’ Pensions to Rise

Cambodians ride their motorbikes loaded with goods near a market in Phnom Penh on January 28, 2019. (Photo: AFP)

PM orders fairness in payments

PHNOM PENH Retired civil servants and war veterans are to get a pension rise.

Social Affairs Ministry spokesperson Touch Channy said the increases would be in line with the needs of the national budget.

The increases will be higher for those on low pensions and smaller for those with higher pensions.

“The increased pensions cannot be given in a timely manner and equally because of the state of our budget. And we need to spend carefully because of the Covid-19 crisis,” Channy said.

A lot of the budget would be spent if the ministry increased the pensions all at once.

Channy said that retirees in the 1990s were paid less and later retirees got paid more because of their seniority.

The salaries of civil servants were higher than in previous generations because the economy had improved and the ministry had increased their salaries by 20 percent every year.

On March 31, Prime Minister Hun Sen said retired civil servants who received lower salaries when they were working than current civil servants must have their pension increased.

Former civil servants who got a pension of 500,000 to 700,000 riel ($125-$172) must get increases to maintain equality with current civil servants, he said. This should amount to another 250,000 riel ($62.5).

Tum Vira, executive director of HelpAge Cambodia, applauded pension rises for retired civil servants and war veterans. He had met and assisted many old retirees who complained about their pensions.

“I really applaud the government's decision to increase the pensions of veterans so that those who retired 15 to 20 years ago can get the same as those who retire later,” Vira said.

However, current civil servants earning more than 1 million riel ($250) will not get a salary rise because the government has to deal with the pension for retired civil servants on low pensions first.

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