More AFP personnel opting for early retirement to avoid losing benefits – Brawner
MANILA, Philippines — The number of military personnel filing for early retirement has gone up amid the deliberations on the military and uniformed personnel (MUP) pension reform bill, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr.
Brawner disclosed this during the Commission on Appointments deliberation on Wednesday after Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go asked him about the issue.
“It’s true that the number of people filing for early retirement has increased because they anticipate the bill becoming a law,” Brawner said in Filipino.
“They are basing it on the early versions [of the bill], which state that they would lose their one-rank-higher pay when they retire — that is, what is called the pensionable age of 57. So the would wait for a few years before they can get their pension now.”
Brawner did not reveal the number of AFP personnel who had already filed early resignation. But he said that many of them wanted to avail of the provisions of the older system, where they would receive a pay of the next higher rank and automatic indexation or the regular adjustment of their pension benefits.
To combat the increasing number of retirements, Brawner said AFP had already explained to its soldiers that the bill would still be subject to changes.
“We are talking to our soldiers and asking them not to take any action yet as long as the finall version of the MUP pension bill has not come out,” he said.
Last Aug. 17, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. questioned the House of Representatives panel’s proposed reform system of MUP, which includes provisions for a new indexation and a mandatory contribution.
Based on the proposals of the ad hoc committee of the lower chamber, the uniformed personnel of the AFP, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and the Bureau of Fire Protection would be asked to contribute 5 percent for the first three years, 7 percent for the next three years, and 9 percent after for active personnel while new entrants would immediately contribute 9 percent.
Teodoro also disapproved of the proposal on the indexation of pensions to a 50 percent adjustment in pay from the previous 100 percent automatic indexation.