The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) has released some information on the announcement by the Minister of Finance that, in order to reduce the wage bill of the public service, public servants between the ages of 55 and 60, may apply for early retirement without the imposition of the normal pension penalties.

Please note:

  • there will be a cap on the number of approvals per department
  • approval of early retirement applications will be at the discretion of each department (Executive authority/(Minister/ MEC) based on reasonable criteria set by him/her.

What are the criteria?

The GDE/DBE has not yet released the criteria, however, the DPSA has prescribed that in considering applications, a department must inter alia ensure that-

  • there shall be no negative impact on its service delivery mandate;
  • there shall be no skills deficit created;
  • future fiscal savings will be realised;
  • consideration be given to functions which are not aligned to the department’s mandate (core function), structure and post provisioning norms;

The DPSA has also indicated that priority should be given to employees with longer service records who are closer to 60 years of age.

Application for early retirement

Employees wishing to apply for early retirement will have to –

  • apply in writing on an official application form (still to be provided);
  • apply within timeframes to be determined by the relevant department (within the overall window period of 1 April to 30 September 2019);
  • fully motivate the application in terms of the above-mentioned criteria and the supplementary criteria set by the relevant department and /or the Minister of Basic Education (in the case of educators);
  • submit obligatory documentation, when required (Further information to be provided by GDE/DBE)
  • no indication has been given as yet regarding the date  on which employees will exit the system




For more infrmation read:

NAPTOSA News Flash 21 of 2019  pdf GP NF 21 of 2019 - NNF EARLY RETIREMENT FROM THE PUBLIC SERVICE (143 KB)

DPSA. Early Retirment Without Penalty:   pdf DPSA early retirement without penalisation of pension benefits (914 KB)

DPSA Early Retirement FAQs    pdf DPSA Early Retirement FAQ 28Febr19 (138 KB)