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Sri Lanka state pension liability huge and growing

ECONOMYNEXT – The pension bill for Sri Lanka’s bloated government bureaucracy is going to be 195 billion rupees for 2016, up from 127 billion rupees in 2014, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Harsha De Silva said.

"See how huge the liability is," De Silva, an economist, told the National Pensioners Day Symposium organised by the Department of Pensions Thursday.

"So the burden on the Treasury will continue to increase. There’ll be fewer people working supporting people in retirement."

This will create an "inter-generational conflict" with less people working to support more in retirement and less money every year available to the state to pay as pensions because it is unfunded, De Silva said.

The country has to come up with solutions to the looming problem fast, he added.

"Some people estimate the cost of pensions to the public service is greater while in retirement than during employment – a unique situation," he said.

"That the amount you pay public servants during the time they work is less than the amount the government has to fork out to pay after they retire."

For instance, military personnel, who are pensionable after 20 years, are entitled to pensions for a longer period of time, he noted.  (Colombo/October 09 2015)

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