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Wednesday, 10 February 1999
Page: 2401

Mr McClelland asked the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, upon notice, on 11 November 1998:

(1) Do Commonwealth legislation or regulations require members of the Australian Public Service to retire upon reaching a certain age; if so; what provisions apply, (b) what retirement ages are specified and (c) will the Government amend or abolish the provisions.

Dr Kemp (Education, Training and Youth Affairs; Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) (a) Secretaries, SES officers and non-SES officers in the Australian Public Service are required by the Public Service Act 1922 (sections 76C, 76J and 76V respectively) to retire upon attaining the maximum retiring age.

An officer is retired by force of the legislation unless the Secretary or their delegate makes a determination before the person attains the maximum retiring age to extend employment beyond the maximum retiring age. In the case of an extension for a Secretary the Governor-General must approve employment beyond maximum retiring age.

Where the Secretary is of the opinion that it is desirable, in the interests of the Commonwealth, that the officer should continue in employment and the officer is willing to continue, the Secretary may determine that the officer does not have to retire upon attaining the maximum retiring age.

(b) The provisions of the Public Service Act currently fix a maximum retiring age of 65 years for all persons employed under the Act.

(c) The Public Service Bill introduced by the Government into Parliament twice, in June 1997 and March 1998, establishes a flexible employment framework for the Australian Public Service. The Bill did not include any provisions relating to maximum age retirement for APS employees.

This Government remains committed to removing compulsory age 65 retirement from the APS, and will continue to push for the passage of the Public Service Bill through Parliament.