Creation of a Reformed Pension System for Civil Servants in Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste has many civil servants with long service both before and after independence. The reformed pension system for civil servants will give the government a method of honorably allowing its elderly civil servants to exit the work force. At this time, the primary method of caring for elderly civil servants is to continue salary payments. This is because there is no mandatory retirement age for civil servants and the government does not yet have effective procedures for compelling older workers to retire when their productivity level declines. Consequently, the government has informed us that the civil service pension is unlikely to pay benefits to any civil servants until such time as these two issues are resolved. The government estimates this will take five years (until 2018). Until that time, elderly civil servants will continue to receive their salary and will not receive a pension from the reformed civil service pension program.

The objective of this report is to examine some of design issues of the existing civil service pension and provide a series of recommended reforms to the program.