Retirement Debate

June 08, 2011 (LBO) – Much has been written about the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed Employment Pension Benefits Fund.

The bill was to affect the lives of the majority of Sri Lankans. First a white paper should have made available for public discussion and debate prior to its presentation in Parliament. When the Employees Trust Fund Bill (ETF) was tabled in Parliament by Hon (Capt) C. P. J. Seneviratne, Minister of Labour on 21st August 1980 and thereafter the second reading was taken up for debate on 3rd September 1980, it provided space for deliberation and debate.

The present government has introduced and passed important Bills such as the abolition of the 17th Amendment and introduction of the 18th Amendment concentrating power in the Executive President with only one day’s parliamentary debate and no space for public debate. The Employees’ Trust Fund was discussed and debated for 1 ½ years before its presentation in Parliament by the Minister.

It is also relevant to point out that on 12th February 1958 when the first reading of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), then known as the National P