1. The Indian Ex-Services League were invited for first interaction by 7th Pay Commission with regard to issue relating to Ex-Servicemen pensioners on 24 Jul 2014 vide their letter No 7CPC/48/A&F/2014 dated 17 Jul 2014.
2. Lt Gen (Dr) Balbir Singh, PVSM, VSM**, President Indian Ex-Services League and his team comprising Brig Kartar Singh, Sr Vice President, AVM RP Mishra and Hony Capt Ratan Singh had a meeting and the following conceptual issues related with pension of Armed Forces were discussed:-
(a) Pension ratio between 01 Jun 1953 and 30 Sep 1961, between 01 Oct 1961 and 31-12-1972.
(b) Early retirement and its implications.
(c) Pension for Honorary Ranks granted after retirement.
(d) Pension for Widows.
(e) Disability Pension.
(f) Pension of Reservists.
(g) Soldier on the lowest ladder of society.
(h) Retrospective Orders.
(j) Order of Precedent.
(k) Age related compensation.
Conceptual issues related with Pension of Armed Forces
(Ist Interaction with 7th CPC)
24 July 2014
- Armed Forces (Army, Navy & Air Force) are the main elements of power of a nation State. They are the protectors of democracy in general and country in particular. They are responsible for territorial integrity of the country and protect the nation from external and internal threats. It has been observed that Armed Forces have been neglected over last forty years or so especially with effect from third CPC (31-12-1973).
Major Conceptual Issues
- As this is the first interaction with the honourable CPC, we intend giving only major conceptual issues. These are given in succeeding paragraphs.
- OROP. The word OROP might have agitated the mind of the Government. Therefore, we would like to call it Absolute Parity in Pension (APIP). We assume that the principle of OROP has been accepted by the Government and hence a common table will be issued for pension keeping in mind the definition of the OROP (APIP).
- Pension Ratio. The spread of retirement pension from Service Chiefs to Sepoy has to be kept in mind. Service Officers upto 31-12-1972 were paid as under:-
||Standard Service in Years
||Pension between 1-6-53 and 30-9-61
||Pension between 1-10-61 and
31-12-72 (without DCRG)
|Pension of Highest Civilian Officer(Cabinet Secretary)
|Lt Col (TS)
|Lt Col (S)
@840 with DCRG
Similarly the ratio from Subedar Major down to Sepoy should also be maintained. A presentation on this will be given to CPC later on.
- Early Retirement. Armed Forces personnel are forcibly retired to keep the forces young. This is our i.e. Country’s requirement. And, surprisingly they are retired when they are facing mid life blues i.e. between 36-42 years of age. So far, no scheme of Government including lateral absorption has worked. All ranks must be granted enhanced compensation for this loss. It is our considered view that service personnel must be granted minimum 75% of the last pay drawn as their service pension.
- Pension for Honorary Ranks. JCOs, NCO’s and Jawans who are granted honorary ranks after retirement must be granted pension equal to that rank. This is a major cause for heart burn after retirement.
- Pension for Widows. Life liabilities of a widow actually increase after her husband’s demise. It is really surprising that family pension is granted at nearly 30% of the pay. It requires no explanation and keeping in mind the sociopolitical environment a widow must continue to draw the same pension as her husband.
- Disability Pension. Every Armed Forces personnel goes through a rigorous medical examination from the day of enrollment till he retires. Inspite of that some of the personnel are denied disability pension by medical authorities on a pretext of non-attributable and non-aggravated by service conditions. This must cease and all personnel who retire with a medical disability must get that much compensation as disability pensions.
- Pension of Reservists. These personnel are those who were sent home as reservists and were called back for service during emergency like war or as per their service terms. They were granted pension but their rates of pension have not been revised. In today’s environment there are not many who are drawing such pension. Their quality of life suffers as most of them have crossed 60 years of age. It is submitted that their pension should be brought to the level of a sepoy in 7th CPC.
- Soldier on the Lowest Ladder of Society. There are plenty of surveys which have proved this harsh fact that a retired soldier is on the lowest ladder of the society basically due to economic factor. He is economically backward due to the following:-
(a) Early retirement (already explained).
(b) He does not draw maximum pay of his rank and grade.
(c) No re-employment after retirement.
(d) His retirement benefits are too little.
- Retrospective Orders. Since OROP extends the pension of current pensioners to all past pensioners, any changes in policy regarding pay or promotion which affect the pay/pension of future pensioners, shall also be passed on to the past pensioners from the same date.
- Order of Precedent (OOP). With every year passing a veteran from Armed Forces is being brought down in OOP. During sixties a Police Commissioner of Kolkata or Chennai was equivalent to a Lt Col. Today a Commissioner wears the rank of a Director General. An Armed Forces Veteran is literally downgraded in OOP while he in service and economically after retirement.
- Age Related Compensation. Presently pension is enhanced by 20% on reaching 80 years of age. It is recommended that this enhancement be brought down to 75 years as our national average life span is only 63 years. The recommended enhancement is as under:-
(a)75 years- 25%
(b)80 years- 30%
(c)85 years- 40%
(d)90 years- 50%
(e)95 years- 75%
(f)100 years- 100%
- Conclusion. We have submitted only conceptual issues related to post retirement issues and pension. We have called for a national conference in Sept 2014 where representatives of veterans from all the States and UTs will be gathering. We would like to submit detailed and deliberated issues after this conference.