PUBLIC Service Commission permanent secretary Parmesh Chand says teachers don't get re-engaged into the civil service after they retire.
This is because there are qualified teachers available in the job market.
Responding to comments made by USP economist Professor Biman Prasad for the government to change the teacher retirement policy from 55 to 60 years old during the recent Fiji Principals conference in Labasa, Mr Chand said only civil servants with scarce skills were usually re-engaged.
"Some civil servants over the age of 55 years old have been contracted to continue working in various government ministries and departments. These are civil servants who possess scarce skills. It can either be an engineer, a doctor who specialises in gynaecology, a scientist or a veterinary officer.
"Teachers as a whole don't get re-engaged as there are amply qualified teachers available in the job market to be part of succession planning and fill the gaps which arise due to the retirement of teachers.
"Ministries and departments usually prepare succession plans to ensure that newer officers who are absorbed are able to fill in the gap of these retiring officers with scarce skills.
"In the event of there being no new or existing officers to take the place of the retiring officers with scarce skills, then the commission gives consideration to the re-engagement of such an officer.
"In order to ensure that there are scarce skilled officers available in the market when senior civil servants retire, the commission offers scholarships in these fields."
However, Prof Prasad said it had been misguided that reducing the retirement age would help reduce unemployment and provide younger people more opportunities.
"All it will do is deny us the benefit of quality principals, teachers and administrators," he said.
"The public service should not be considered a major generator of employment. Employment for young people will be generated through better and sustained economic growth led by the private sector.
"The sooner government does away with the 55 retirement policy in the civil service, the better."
But Mr Chand said the PSC could not change the civil service retirement policy at 55 as the existing policy had been a well thought-out, responsive and timely policy.
"It came into being four years ago and has worked well and is meeting its objectives. It's part of the law and there are no plans to change this policy. The PSC has worked closely with stakeholders on opportunities for retirees such as the Retirees Expo and the Fiji Volunteer Services Scheme.
"We are pleased that there has been positive impact and results in both these areas."