Monday, October 4, 2010

Military Pay and Pension by Maj Gen Radha Krishnan RN

From: Radha Krishnan RN []
Sent: 26 September 2010 19:50
To: Veterans; MilitaryPayand Pension
Cc: CS Kamboj Brigadier; Col N Viswanathan; Satbir Singh General; RP Mishra; Gulia RKS Brigadier; Raman SN Colonel; Vijay Oberoi Lt Gen (Rtd); Satish Kumar Bahri
Subject: AFT Verdict in Favour of Majors and its effect

Major General (Emeritus) RN Radhakrishnan
Part -9
Where Do We Go?

Section 10
AFT Defines Minimum Pay
AFT has ruled in favour of the petitioners of the rank of Lt Cdr and Sq Ldr. The ruling is that the minimum pension for these ranks and Equivalents has to be based on the minimum of the pay that is indicated in the relevant Service Instructions, not the minimum of the pay band, as interpreted by the CDA/ PDA. Thus, the minimum pension of these ranks amounts to Rs 18205/= (50% of the sum of 23810+6600+6000). Immediately on issue of the pension policy dated 11-11-2008 and as early as Jan 2009, this misinterpretation was brought to the notice of the PM, RM, Secretary ESW, and the three Chiefs, requesting to apply the correct interpretation as the ‘minimum of the pay in the pay scale carved out of the Pay Bands and accepted through relevant Service Instructions. (Please refer to the attachment and my mail numbered 20090124(1) sent in Jan 2009 addressed to Military Veterans.) Approximately 100 odd officers of various ranks sent out letters demanding for correct interpretation, while implementing the pension policy dated 11-11-2008.

The reaction from the Ministry was, as expected, reiteration of their interpretation. What frustrated was the stand taken by our Service HQrs, trying to educate how to interpret the policy letters, as if on having retired from the Services we have lost our appreciation skill and analytical capability in formulation and interpretation of the policy letters.

Now that the AFT has upheld this correct interpretation, let us see what the reaction of the Government is likely to be. The Government took the task of bridging the gap in the pension quite seriously by enhancing the pensions and adopting the concept of ‘modified parity’, which strictly means parity limited to only the pensioner of pre 2006 vintage. Pensions of the Personnel other than the Commissioned Officers, Lt Cols and Lt Gens have been enhanced, no doubt. Left are only the Majors, Colonels, Brigadiers and Major Generals. Government is not at convinced that here exists an ethical obligation on their part to establish parity among all pensioners across the board with no regard to the date of retirement.

The present ruling by AFT has come as a face saving measure to the Government. Hence, there is a distinct possibility of the Government accepting the verdict and implement it quite soon for Majors and the equivalents. It is also possible that the Government chooses to show an extent of magnanimity by extending the ruling to the other three ranks, though I won’t be surprised if they wait until similar verdict is obtained by going to the court by some of these ranks. An efficient attempt to compromise and thwart confrontation!

Now a few of us are apprehensive of possible setback. Will our quest for Parity in Pension (termed ‘OROP’ by IESM) be affected due to this verdict? My impression is that it cannot. The ruling of AFT is limited to the interpretation of the phrase ‘minimum of the pay in the pay band’ of the policy letter with reference to revising the pension of pensioner, pre 2006. On the contrary our demand is questioning the very logic of revising the pension with incorrect relation to the revised pay structure. Our demand is for establishing equality with an equal with no regard to the date of retiring.

But the question is how we are setting about it, reason with the Government through IESL or coerce them through peaceful demonstration promoted by IESM.

Whatever be the path, we have to be clear on one aspect. What defines equality? If you analyse the pension pattern of those retiring after 01-01-2006, an alarming fact shall glare at you. Pensioners post 2006 stand to get different pension even if they are equal in rank and the number years of service, total or in that particular rank. Pension cell of IESM should collect data from those who have retired since Jan 2006 and verify my statement. If that is the case, what kind of equation we are planning on to ask for equal pension?

I suggest that a few of us get together with neither any affinity nor any enmity to any organization (above all no ‘I know all or more than you’ attitude), analyse the issue of equality which is crucial. We have to have a clear idea of what we want from the Government or from the court. Leaving it either to the court or the Government to work it out for us based on our over simplified definition of our demand phrased as “any two pensioners of the same rank and same number of years of service must get the same pension” can lead to disaster.

Attached is Pension – Letter to Secretary 090128

End Section 10
Major General RN RADHAKRISHNAN (Retd)
Tele- 0452-2389989

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