Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cabinet Approves Pension Plan akin to OROP

Zeenews Bureau Tuesday, September 25, 2012
One Rank One Pension: Cabinet approves Rs 2,300 cr plan for ex-armed forces
New Delhi: In what can be termed good news for ex-armed forces personnel, the Cabinet on Monday approved a pension plan of Rs 2,300 crore under the ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme.
Services personnel who have retired before January 2006, will now be entitled to pension almost equal to their counterparts who superannuated after this date.
The estimated cost of this proposal will be approx Rs 2,300 crore per annum.
The Armed forces have been agitating for One Rank One Pension scheme for quite some time now.
As per the bonanza scheme, every ex-serviceman will be eligible for the same pension at his rank, regardless of when he joined or retired.
The ‘One Rank One Pension’ was a demand of 1.3-million strong defence personnel which got partly approved today based on the recommendations of a panel set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The slew of measures taken by the Government to increase pension and pay of the armed forces included enhancement of family pension, granting of dual family pension and family pension to mentally and physically challenged wards of defence personnel even after their marriage, officials said here.
An official release said steps taken by the Government are expected to largely "meet the demands of the defence pensioners for one rank one pension (OROP)."
The committee, headed by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth had submitted its report on August 08, 2012.
Set up on July 13 this year on the orders of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the committee had Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Pulok Chatterjee and Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma as members, apart from secretaries of departments of expenditure, ex-servicemen's welfare, and personnel and training.
"The gap in pension of pre- and post-January 2006 retiree jawans will be bridged by determining the pension of pre- January 2006 pensioners on the basis of notional maximum for the ranks and groups across the three Services as in case of post-January 2006 retirees," the official release said.
"The pension of pre-January 2006 commissioned officer pensioners will be stepped up with reference to maximum fitment table for the ranks instead of minimum pay band," it said.
The decision would be implemented from a prospective date, Defence Ministry officials said.
As per the present system, personnel retiring under the 6th pay commission get more pension than their counterparts who have retired under previous pay commissions.
The Cabinet also accepted the enhancement of family pension for the families of serving and retired defence personnel who have lost their lives.
"The pension of pre-January 2006 family pensioners including officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and other ranks will be stepped up based on the minimum of the fitment table instead of the minimum pay band," the release said.
The government also allowed the Dual Family Pension which means that the pensioner would be allowed to draw both military and civil employment pensions.
It also agreed to the demand of granting family pension to mentally and physically challenged children of defence forces personnel even after their marriage.
This pension was so far granted to them only till their marriage.
Commenting on the virtual acceptance of the OROP demand, former Army Chief Gen VK Singh said, "They have done a lot for the good of the veterans community. They should have done it long back as it was long overdue."
One Rank One Pension: Cabinet approves Rs 2,300 cr plan for ex-armed forces

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