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Army considering increasing retirement age of jawans to 40 in a phased manner

The Army has decided, in principle, to increase the retirement age of jawans to at least 40 and perhaps more, in the future, in a phased manner.

Currently, most jawans retire after 15 to 17 years of service or by the time they are 35 to 37. The decision, still to be cleared by the defence ministry and the government, will ensure that jawans have an additional 5 years of service before retirement. The decision has been taken keeping in mind the fact that levels of physical fitness among soldiers today allow service till 40.

The increase in retirement age will be done in phases. Otherwise, recruitment would stop. The decision will have additional benefits of reducing the currently high pension bills and benefits for ex-servicemen. For five additional years of service would mean five years less of pension.

It would also mean recruiting fewer soldiers over a period of time assuming that the number of soldiers will not go up. In fact, the army chief, Gen Bipin Rawat, has spoken of gradually cutting 1.5 lakh troops over 5 years. If fewer people are recruited, it will also reduce the cost of training in the future.

The proposal is in the final stages and will soon be placed before the defence ministry.

The decision also comes in the wake of allowing jawans of the central police forces like the CRPF to retire at the age of 60.

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