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Tunisia’s Government Strikes Deal with UGTT to Lift Retirement Age

Tunisia’s Government Strikes Deal with UGTT to Lift Retirement Age

Saturday, 18 November, 2017 - 10:15
Tourists in a market in Tunis. (AP photo: Hassene Dridi)

The Tunisian government has reached a deal with the UGTT (labor union) to lift the retirement age for public servants by two years as part of efforts to limit new appointments, a government official said Friday.

"The government has agreed with the UGTT to lift the retirement age in the public sector by two years to 62 years and optionally for who those want it to 65 years starting from 2020," Kamal Madouri, an official in the Ministry of Social Affairs, said.

"There is an agreement in principle to raise the retirement age, but it was within a package of other measures about social security funds reforms which must be all implemented," Abd Karim Jrad, deputy secretary general of UGTT, told Reuters.

The government has proposed in the 2018 budget to impose a 1 percent social security tax on employees and companies to cut the deficit, but parliament has yet to approve the bill.

Under the 2018 budget, the deficit will fall to 4.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2018, from about 6 percent expected in 2017.

Tunisia also seeks to raise GDP growth to about 3 percent next year against 2.3 percent this year. It seeks to lay off about 16,500 public sector workers in 2017 and 2018, a senior government official told Reuters last month.

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