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Critical Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Retirement Benefit Schemes in Labour Legislations of Sri Lanka


Retirement can be considered as the most-evidence junction in life where someone decides to permanently leave the workforce behind. According to the right based theory, the state is obliged to look after individuals of the country, and particularly this includes retired elders who contributed their labour, energy and knowledge towards the economy of a country during their young age. The International Labor Organization (ILO) also requires that member countries should secure to the persons protected under the provisions of old-age benefit. However, this has become a difficult task with a recent trend of the aging of the population where the life expectancy of people has grown up. Sri Lanka also has taken some of the steps to enable a few legislations to address this issue of retirement benefits. In this context the main objective of this study was to critically evaluate the effectiveness of the existing labour legislations in Sri Lanka which discusses the retirement benefits. Special attention has been given to the recovery procedure of default payments under Employees Provident Fund Act, Employees Trust Fund Act and Payment of Gratuity Act. Apart from the discussion of the private and semi-government sphere, the researcher specifically dealt with the retirement benefits legislation on university employees by comparing it with the legislations applicable to other sectors. This research study utilized the qualitative methodology where the researcher studied, analyzed, and synthesized a variety of legal documents such as international conventions, legislations, case laws, books, and journal articles. Finally, the research reveals that the retirement benefits mentioned in all three major legislations do not support the state to ease the burden of looking after the old aged people and it is totally shifted to the youngsters of their families. This study fills the lacuna of having a comprehensive legal analysis pertaining to the area of retirement benefits in Sri Lanka including the state university sector by suggesting how the laws should be amended to fill the gaps in the existing law.

Keywords: Elderly people, Contributory pension scheme, Retirement benefits.