The Elections Commission (EC) has revised its retirement guidelines, enabling staff members with a service tenure of 15 years to opt for retirement upon reaching age 55. The revised guidelines, enacted on 28 February 2024, stipulate that commission members who have previously served as staff members can choose to retire if their cumulative service tenure amounts to 10 years or more, irrespective of age.

The guidelines provide a comprehensive outline of the remuneration structure, including salaries, allowances, and overtime pay policies for commission members and staff. Each commission member is entitled to a monthly remuneration of MVR 40,000, with the Chairman and Vice Chairman receiving additional allowances.

Staff members are eligible for retirement upon reaching 55, provided they have served the commission for a minimum of 15 years. The guidelines further clarify that the tenure of a staff member subsequently appointed as a commission member will be considered part of their cumulative service tenure.

Upon retirement, eligible employees or members will receive a lump sum disbursement, calculated based on the salary of their last-held rank and their years of service. This is in addition to a monthly retirement pay amounting to 75 percent of their last drawn salary, payable for the remainder of their lives. To calculate the lump sum distribution, according to the guidelines, a maximum of 15 years of service will be considered, even if the actual years of service exceed this number.

The revision in the commission’s guidelines has rendered four commission members eligible for retirement. They include Chairman Fuwad Thowfeek, Vice Chairman Ismail Habeeb, and members Mohamed Asif, and Ali Nashaath.

Habeeb, who previously served as a staff member on the commission, is nearing the completion of his second five-year term and will reach the end of his term on Wednesday. As per the existing regulations, a member can serve a maximum of two terms on the commission.

While the EC has amended its guidelines to provide retirement pensions to its members and staff, other independent institutions have petitioned the parliament to enact a law outlining the retirement and pension packages for their members and staff. However, the parliament has yet to address this request.