IESL/353/OROOP/201608 Jun 2016
Hon’ble Justice L N Reddy
10 Tuglak Road
PRESENTATION TO HON’BLE JUSTICE L N REDDY ON OROP
- Kindly refer to the Presentation made by Indian Ex-Services League on OROP anomalies/other issues related to OROP
2.The anomalies that require immediate attention and revision in order to fully implement OROP in its true form is given in succeeding paras.
3.Definition of OROP. As per Koshiyari Committee and as announced in Parliament, One Rank One Pension (OROP) implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces Personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement and any future enhancement in the rates of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners. This implies bridging the gap between the rate of pension of the current pensioners and the past pensioners, and also future enhancements in the rate of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners. The same was reiterated by the Committee of Secretaries headed by the Cabinet Secretary in 2009, then by the Hon’ble RRM, Rao Inderjit Singh in Dec 2014 in Parliament in reply to a question, the same has also been stated in the minutes of the meeting chaired by the Hon’ble RM in Feb 2014, and also in the Press Release by the Honb’le RM on 05 Sept 2015. However, in the Govt letter of Nov 2015, the part that, “any future enhancement in the rates of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners has been omitted. This has long term implications and need to be restored.
4.Pension at Maximum Scale rather than average of Maximum and Minimum. Since the promotion is not uniform due to vacancies pattern, tenures and retirement policies, Pensions, of all pensioners should therefore be re-fixed on the basis of Maximum Pension of personnel who have retired in the year. It would be pertinent to mention, that vacancies in the Armed Forces are not in any fixed ratio and are based on functional requirement and, therefore, it’s not a fair parameter. There is a large variation in promotion prospects, specially amongst JCOs/Ors, due to the absolute imperative of Regimentation, where a person is not moved out of Unit, to strengthen bonding, camaraderie, and his juniors get promoted elsewhere. Two equally qualified and competent Soldiers may get promoted in different timeframe, due to trade, class and caste and other policies related issues. The difference could be as much as 8 to 9 years. We therefore cannot penalize these personnel for no fault of theirs. Just to highlight, In Air Force and Navy, a Sub Maj equivalent can serve upto 57 yrs, where as in Army he will retire after tenure of 4 yrs. It was for these, peculiarities of service that it was decided to have only two variables for pay and pension ie Rank and Length of service. It is, therefore strongly recommended that maximum of the pension of current pensioners be passed on to all past pensioners. This will also confirm to the definition and the spirit of OROP.
5. Equalisation. Equalisation of pensions every five years is against the principle of accepted definition of OROP. It will bring disparity in pensions and result in senior ranked Officers drawing lesser pension than junior ranked Officers for five years implying one rank many pension. This violates the definition of One Rank One Pension. This will also result in permanent violation of the definition as fresh cases will come up every year. One Rank One Pension should be implemented in perpetuity. The equalization does not imply increment as it will effect only a percentage of the pensioners. The funds required are very minimal but if accepted will result in lot of good will and satisfaction.
6. Pre-Mature Retirement. The issue of VRS and PMR should be removed. Pension regulation has defined minimum pensionable service for JCOs and OR at 15 years and Officers as 20 years. It is not desirable that Pension entitlements under the Pension Regulations as per Defence Services Regulations be modified through OROP. It will create a class within a class giving rise to a situation which may not withstand legal scrutiny. Moreover, the clause on denial of OROP on premature retirement also goes against the recommendations of the Ajai Vikram Singh Committee, which had recommended measures to reduce the age profile of Officers. The said recommendations were approved by the Cabinet and implemented by the Government in Dec 2004. The following points may also be kept in mind while denying the OROP to PMR:-
(a)PMR is approved by the Govt, and no one can proceed on PMR till Govt approves it.
(b)Reserve Liability. All ranks remain under reserve liability for 2 years.
(c)Necessity to keep Armed Forces young. The PMR is in Organisational interest to keep the leadership young.
(d)Restricted Promotional Avenue in the Armed Forces.
(e)7th CPC has laid no such riders. There are no such riders for others as per recommendation of 7th CPC.
7.Issues of JCOs/OR.
(a)Pension always based on ‘Maximum of the Scale’. In 6th CPC, there is no Scale but Pay Bands were given. Notional Maximum was created. The data on which this has been laid down is not available. This needs to be corrected.
(b)ACP for Past Retirees be given. The ACP for past retirees need to be given as these Veterans also have gone through the same hardships and conditions of service.
(c)The pension amount granted to Hav & Sub of TA (refer table No 9) is more than the service pension granted to Hav & Sub of regular Army (Refer table No 7) which is totally incorrect. Similar mistakes need to be corrected at many places in the Tables. It is recommended that a Committee be formed comprising of Members from Army, Navy, Air Force Pay Cells, CGDA and the veterans to correct all the mistakes in the Tables.
(d)Hony Ranks must be granted same pension as equivalent ranks as has been done for the Hony Nb Sub. This will be in conformity with principle of natural justice.
(e)JCOs and Jawans must be fixed at highest of the pay band fixation for pension. The 3rd ACP must be included in the pension at the time of retirement, since most of the Ors do not get the benefit of the 3rd ACP.
(f)Pension of ACP Hav and Hony Nb Sub must be equal. Presently Hony Nb Sub drawing less pension than ACP Hav.
(g)Reservists have not been considered for revision of pension. The figure of reservists is very less, in thousands; therefore they should also be considered for OROP and adequately compensated.
8.Issue Related to Officers
(a)Majors who have served as Officers for more than 21 years should be given Lt Col’s pension without any cutoff date. The cutoff date of 1996 does not have any rationale. The numbers are very less and will not cost much
(b)Lt Col, especially selection grade, who had completed 26 years service should get Col’s pension. These Lt Cols have Commanded Units have borne maximum responsibility.
(c)All Lt Gens i.e. HAG, HAG+ and Army Commanders should be in one Category being Lt Gens and for purpose of pension should be at par. Presently all Lt Gens, who retired in 6th CPC are drawing Apex Scale. It will therefore be in accordance with the principle of Natural Justice
(d)MSP may be granted to all Maj Gens equivalents and above as MSP is for the hardships and risk undergone over the entire career of service, and not restricted to the period one is Maj Gen/Lt Gen/Gen
(e) Huge Gap Between the Pension of Hony Lt/Capt to Major. This fact can’t be denied that Commissioned Officers in the rank of Lt and Capt do not retire in these ranks owing to the time scale factor of promotion. By keeping a gap of Rs 6705/- between Hony Lt/Capt to Major has resulted not only with the Hony Lt/Capt parity with a Major but also adversely affecting all Hony Commissioned Officers. This may plese be revised.
(f) Lt & Capt Pension amounts granted to EC/SSC Officer Lt & Capt (refer table No 5) is more than that of Regular Commissioned Officer Lt & Capt (refer table No 1). This need to be corrected.
(g)Maj and Lt Col EC/SSC Officers. EC/SSC Officers have been granted same pension scales for the ranks of Major and Lt Col. There is a need to correct the anomaly.
(h)Lt Col with 20 Years of Qualifying Service (QS) and Below. The minimum QS for being eligible to earn pension is 20 years, thus any live pension data would be available for Officers beyond 20 years service only. The principle based on which pension for less than 20 years length of service has been worked out is questionable and should have been based on notional pay drawn for these ranks at specific length of service. The same has not been done.
(j)AMC/ADC/RVC Officers. Lt/Capt of AMC/ADC/RVC have been granted the same pension as granted to Regular Lt/Capt and Majors of AMC/ADC/RVC have been granted lower pension than Majors (Non AMC) which does not conform to Pay Structure of 6th CPC. Additional component of NPA ignored.
(k)MNS Officers. No pension amount has been mentioned in respect of Lt, Capt and Maj.The same needs to be corrected.
9.Other Important Issues
(a)Rank for Pension. Rank last held and Rank for Pension different in case of Pre-2006 retirees. This stipulation no more applicable thus OROP should be based on “Rank Last Held” as per latest policy (Earlier the same was accepted but previous policy reintroduced now). The same needs to be rectified. The policy , now in force should be made applicable uniformly to all past retirees.
(b)Rounding Off Qualifying Service. Various rounding off methods are applicable, these should be made uniform. The latest rounding off formulae should replace all earlier formula and made applicable to all.
(c)Correction of Tables. The Tables need major corrections. A committee be formed to include members from Personal Directorate of Army, Navy, AF, Veterans and CGDA to review the Tables.
(d)Payment of Arrears. Pensioners above 80 years of age should also be paid arrears in one instalment since they are in the last leg of their life.
(e)Transformation to 7th CPC. The report of 7th CPC clearly states that it is applicable to all defence pensioners and the methodology of transition is clearly spelt out in the Report. In fact the service HQs should ensure a step forward and ensure that all pensioners are brought up to pension level of serving Officers/JCOs and ORs who retire on 31 Jan 2016 and there should be no (no) uniform applicability of any factor as reported on social media, attributing the proposal to have been forwarded by the Armed Forces HQs or a multiplying factor accepted by the 7th CPC be applied, whichever is beneficial to the pensioners. To clarify, the same is elucidated as under:-
OROP (As on 01 July 2014)
Brought up equal to multiplied by factor =New Pension
For persons proceeding on as suggested
Retirement on 31 Jan 2016. by 7th CPC/formula
suggested by 7th CPC
or pension of an
individual who retire
on 31 Jan 2016
(g)Transparency and Inclusion of Service HQs and VeteransService HQs and Veterans should have also been involved for preparation of OROP Tables and 7th CPC. In future, the same may please be catered for.
10.Lower Disability War Injury, Liberalised and Ordinary Family Pension for All Ranks. PCDA(P) Vide circular No 542 dated 27 May 2015 has promulgated the minimum guaranteed pension for disability, war injury element for all Pre-2006 retiree. The amounts of disability/war injury element awarded are lower than the existing pre OROP amounts in numerous cases. Similarly Liberalised and Ordinary Family Pensions granted vide OROP tables are lower than the existing pre OROP amounts. The same may please be rectified.
- War Injury Pension and Disability Pension are governed by MoD letter No 16(6)/2008(2)/D (Pension Policy) dated 05 May 2009. Accordingly, in all cases of war injury and disability pension, Service Element equals 50% of last drawn emoluments, while War Injury/Disability Element varies from 30% to 100% of emoluments (for 100% disability) depending on the category of disability and the manner of exit from service. 6th CPC has completely done away with the concept of Qualifying Service. Post 6CPC, the concept of Qualifying Service has, therefore become irrelevant for the purpose of pension entitlement. Therefore, there is no condition of minimum qualifying service for earning service element. The same may please be made applicable to all without any time line.
12.Special Family Pension and Liberalised Pension. These two categories of pensions are supposed to receive 120% and 200% pension as per Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (MOD) letter No 1(16)/2012/D(Pen/Policy) dated 17 Jan 2013 and Circular No 503 dated 17 Jan 2013 for all post 01 Jan 2006 pensioners. This is causing a great heart burn to pensioners of Pre-2006. On grant of OROP by GOI, this pension should have also been equalized for all previous pensioners keeping in view the spirit and authority of your OROP notification.
13.It is requested that above issues may please be considered by the Hon’ble Justice LN Reddy Committee, to provide relief to the Veterans. The Veterans are looking with great hopes for relief from the Hon’ble Committee.
Lt Gen (Dr) Balbir Singh, PVSM, VSM**