Monday, February 17, 2014

Is it really OROP applicable to all pre & post 2006 retirees?

If it is really One Rank One Pension applicable to all pre & post 2006 Pensioners as was being demanded & supported by Bharat Pensioners Samaj- BPS welcomes it! But Prospective implementation & allocation of just 500 crores for 22.5lac defence pensioners throws doubt especially in view of what Wg Cdr ( Retd) V. S. Tomar has to say-Read on:

Para 56 of the Buget speech:
One Rank One Pension

56.       Hon’ble Members are aware of the long standing demand of the Defence Services for One Rank One Pension (OROP).  It is an emotive issue, it has legal implications, and it has to be handled with great sensitivity.   During the tenure of the UPA Governments, changes in the pension rules applicable to the defence services were notified on three occasions in 2006, 2010 and 2013.  As a result, the gap between pre-2006 retirees and post-2006 retirees has been closed in four ranks (subject to some anomalies that are being addressed): Havildar, Naib Subedar, Subedar and Subedar Major.  There is still a small gap in the ranks of Sepoy and Naik and a gap in the ranks of Major and above.  We need a young fighting force, we need young jawans, and we need young officers.  We also need to take care of those who served in the defence forces only for a limited number of years.  Government has therefore decided to walk the last mile and close the gap for all retirees in all ranks.  I am happy to announce that Government has accepted the principle of One Rank One Pension for the defence forces.  This decision will be implemented prospectively from the financial year 2014-15.  The requirement for 2014-15 is estimated at `500 crore and, as an earnest of the UPA Government’s commitment, I propose to transfer a sum of `500 crore to the Defence Pension Account in the current financial year itself.

by Wg Cdr ( Retd) V. S. Tomar

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has announced partial acceptance of One Rank, One Pension. But the modalities of implementing the same have not been elaborated. It is pertinent to explain the meaning of One Rank, One Pension to understand the long standing demand of the armed forces personnel.
“ Simply put, One Rank, One Pension means that two retired soldiers having same rank and same length of service should get same pension irrespective of their date of retirement.” Till the Fifth Pay Commission, full pension — 50 per cent of the emoluments last drawn — was linked to completion of 33 years of service including the weightage. However, in the Sixth Pay Commission, those retiring on or after January 1, 2006 did not have to complete 33 years of service to get the pension.
But people who had retired before 2006, the pension was still linked to completion of 33 years of service through a government order of November 11, 2008.” “ In the case of D. S. Nakara, decided in 1982 by a five- judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, it was held that the pensioners form one class irrespective of their date of retirement and any liberalisation or improvement in the calculation of pension has to be extended to all pensioners. This was followed in various decisions of the Supreme Court leading up to the issue being decided in the case of Major General ( retd) SPS Vains, which was settled on September 9, 2008.” “ I challenged the government letter of November 2011 in the Armed Forces Tribunal, Delhi, which decided in my favour.
The court ruled that para 5 of the government letter, dated November 11, was unconstitutional as it directed the government to extend the benefit to me and other applicants of full pension by applying the same method of calculation as is being applied to post- 2006 retirees.” “ This announcement of OROP is nothing but modified parity which meant that the past pensioners ( pre- 2006 retirees) will get minimum of the full pension which is applicable to post- 2006 retirees irrespective of their length of service.” The writer has been fighting a legal battle in the matter
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