New private pension Bill promised

Thursday, 28 April 2011 00:18 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Uditha Jayasinghe

The controversial Pension Bill will be getting a new facelift with a fresh draft to be made by the Finance Ministry incorporating recommendations from employer and employee groups.

This step was taken during a special National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) meeting held on Tuesday chaired by the Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge and participated by over 20 trade unions.

Overall around 50 unions, employers and officials who comprise the NLAC met to discuss the Pension Bill for nearly two hours before it was decided that a fresh draft would be compiled by the Finance Ministry and presented to the stakeholders.

“At the previous meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa all the participants of the meeting agreed that more deliberation was necessary. The NLAC as the highest labour policy making body of the country and the foremost advisor to the Labour Minister needs to carry out this process with transparency and accountability,” Employers’Federation of Ceylon (EFC) Director General Ravi Peiris told Daily FT.

“This was what we requested and it was granted by the President to revert to this process, which was lacking in the earlier draft of the Bill,” he said  

This was also the first time that Finance Ministry officials headed by Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera were present at the meeting.

However a time line for the new draft was not discussed nor was there enough time to decide what would be the salient points that would be changed in the new draft, according to Peiris; nonetheless stakeholders are hopeful of a positive result from this fresh round of discussions.

Meanwhile four Bills that pertained to the setting up of the private sector pension fund were postponed in parliament yesterday.  

The President’s official website,, states that at the discussion held on Monday morning with trade unions and the President it was proposed that the new Pension Bill be implemented within one year. If approved it could result in the establishment of three Pension Funds, namely Employees’ Pensions Contributory Fund, Expatriate Employees’ Pensions Fund and Self Employees’ Pensions Contributory Fund.