Monday, August 2, 2010

IESM: One Rank One Pension

Dear Colleagues,
I had been in North East of India and have been off the net since 21 July 2010. The Governing body met from 1000 hours to 1300 hours today. It was attended by Satbir, Vinod Gandhi, Krit Joshipura, Aditya Jaini, CK Sharma, Sharan Ahuja, Rakesh Chaturvedi, and self. Decisions taken on various points will be communicated separately.
Some colleagues have (again) suggested that OROP should be based on length of service in the rank at retirement and not total service as the IESM have been consistently projecting. Their view is fully respected. However, we need to remember that we have to go for a formula that benefits the maximum. Over 97% of the ESM are JCOs and OR for whom we are fighting. Unlike the officers (who retire by age) they all retire by service. For them ‘service in the rank at retirement’ has no relevance. For example, a Subedar superannuating after 28 years of service must get the same pension as any other Subedar with similar service. His service in the rank of Subedar varies not only from Regiment to Regiment but also from battalion to battalion within the same Regiment. In fact in fixed class composition battalions, since promotion prospects vary, the difference may even lie – and often does – from one class to another. Therefore, applying the criterion of ‘service in the rank at retirement’ will be highly discriminatory. All this had been taken into account when pursuit of OROP commenced in April 2008.
Among officers there may be some individuals who will stand to gain or lose from one criterion or the other. It will not be advisable to give an officer- orientation to OROP as a concept. Majority gain must remain our focus.
A related point is the use of terminology of OROP. There has been a well-reasoned suggestion that we should replace the term with some other, such as complete or total parity, military pension or the like. This might be in the hope (perhaps vain) that the government would be more receptive to the new term. I would recommend that we retain OROP as it has become a psychological magnet and a rallying point for ESM and any change might be misconstrued to imply that we have diluted our stand and have betrayed the ESM. OROP has also become known in the society.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

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