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Monday, October 3, 2016

Ex-servicemen to get full pension as service limit goes

After years of dithering, the Centre has finally acted on its promise of One-Rank, One-Pension (OROP).

In a September 30 letter addressed to the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force, the Ministry of Personnel informed them about the notification on pension benefits as recommended by the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC).

The three services had earlier decided not to implement the Seventh CPC award till the Narendra Modi government rectified what they had termed as ‘anomalies.’ 

Disability pension
While the defence personnel had every reason to be pleased with the latest decision on pension awards, there were murmurs of protest over the reluctance of the Centre to re-visit the recommendations on disability pension. Prior to the latest notification, all the ex-servicemen who were re-employed and retired from Central Government Departments (like Central Excise, Customs, Income Tax, Railways, Postal, Telecom, AIR, Doordarshan etc.) were paid pro-rata pension with 33 years’ service required for full pension. 

Most of the ex-servicemen re-employed were retiring before completing 33 years. Therefore all these personnel were paid pro-rata pension. However, all that changed after a Supreme Court judgment earlier in the year.

The OROP issue became a major bone of contention in 2015 between the defence personnel and the Modi government with the former charging it of backtracking on its 2014 general election manifesto promise. 

Arrears payment
As a result of the notification, OROP stands implemented with effect from December 2015 and beneficiaries would be paid arrears in the next few months. In short, the revised consolidated pension and family pension of pre-2006 armed forces pensioners shall not be less than 50 and 30 per cent of the minimum in the pay of the rank.

An example of how it would translate into reality in the case of a Colonel with 33 years of service shows that the pension would be Rs. 92,854 per month. Arrears from January to June would be Rs. 69,370 per month and from July to October Rs. 35,371 and total arrears would be Rs. 104741.
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