Wednesday, March 27, 2013

PENSION -Not a burden on the Government


Not a burden on the Government
             Pension is described in section 60 of the CPC and section 11 of the Pension Act There are three important features of ‘pension’. Firstly, pension is a compensation for past service. Secondly, it owes its original to a past employer-employee or master-servant relationship. Thirdly, it is paid on the basis of earlier relationship of an agreement of service as opposed to an agreement for service. This relationship terminates only on the death of the concerned employee. Scheme of payment of pension was introduced: as it was greatly advantageous to the government.
          (i)Government saved thousands of million by stopping matching contribution to provident fund.
          (ii)One third the commuted part of pension was permanently retained by the government, till 1986 . Even after 1986 in restoring the commuted portion after 15years, Govt. retains the substantial balance with itself ( As per calculations the amount commuted would be got back by the government in  ten years)
          (iii)Due to delayed payment of arrears Govt. retains millions of rupees on a/c of death of pensioners/family pensioners during the intervening period. Thus enormous amount of money has been with the government for very long period. Had the government created a corpus out of these savings by proper investment, today pension would not have been a burden.
          Friends ,  Inspite of clear ruling of Honorable S.C. on more than one occasion,
(i)that pension is not a largesse instead; the concerned employee by the dint of his hard work has earned it.
(ii)That Pension is legally enforceable right in terms of proviso to Article 309 clause 5 and Article 146 ;of the constitution of India.  Government has been crying about increasing financial load of pension, forgetting all the time that during the service time of present pensioners.,
(i) Had to forego the matching contribution by the government to the Provident fund on account of which Govt. saved thousands of million  Rupees. 
(ii) Were paid less than their non pensionable counterparts.
          Whenever parity of wages, was demanded on the principal of equal work equal pay., Government declined it on the reason that, Pensionable Government employees were entitled to pension after retirement, thus their salary could not be at par with similarly placed non pensionable counterparts .
          In the studies got done by Central Pay Commissions it has clearly come out that the pay scales of pensionable govt. employees are kept low by design.
          Each pay commission before recommending new grades took into account all the benefits/allowances and perks including the post retirement pension and other benefits.
That means present pensioners were paid less salary than entitled to based on equal work equal pay as compared to non pensionable  workers! Because they were to be paid pension. Pensioner during his/her service life directly or indirectly always contributed towards pension to be paid after retirement
(i) By forgoing government’s matching contribution to the provident fund
(ii) By accepting lower salaries for equal work as compared to their non pensionable counterparts  
(iii) By giving prime years of their lives to the government. Thus Pensioners are being paid pension out of their  own money which was otherwise due to them. Then why this hue &cry about pension burden .Why I. Tax  on Pension?.
          Why not even once, not evens the opposition, ever talk about, ever increasing load of pension , perks & Security of politicians.
Introduction of NPS is conspiracy to deprive the employees of Financial & Social security in their old age as it does not guaranty payment of single penny & is subjected to market risks
          The present Finance Minister Sri P.Chidamram had once stated in his ealier tenure that commitment of old pension scheme would very soon develop into an unbearable liability of the Government .        
           We therefore, have to be alert about the nightmarish thinking of those in power. Lest some fine morning, they may through an ordinance stop Pension of existing Pensioners .
         Over the decades, the strength of employees is consistently coming down. In Railways alone, inspite of increase in network, increase in freight/passenger movement and consequent increased work load we have now 14 lakhs employees against 18 lakhs earlier. Considering that pension amount is only half the basic pay, HRA,CCA etc are not paid to Pensioners, it can easily be seen that governments liabilities are much reduced & not increased . Had the Government taken care  of the savings as brought out in foregoing paras, there perhaps would not have been any burden of pension.
          We pensioners have therefore to take up on ourselves to establish the voice of reason & justice to protect our wellbeing and to an honorable existence as senior Citizens in free India.

S.C. Maheshwari
Secretary General BPS                               

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