NPS has turned into ‘no pension scheme’: Council members

Members of the BJP and the JD(S) on Thursday urged the State government to revert to the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for State government employees as the New Pension Scheme (NPS) had failed to deliver the perceived benefits.

While JD(S) member K.T. Srikante Gowda raised the issue, several BJP members, including Ayanur Manjunath and Y.A. Narayanswamy, also urged the government to return to the old scheme.

Economic downturn

Mr. Gowda said that since 2006 when the New Pension Scheme was implemented in Karnataka after it was approved in Parliament, a large number of government employees had shifted to it as they were promised lucrative returns. “However, owing to economic downturn and a host of other reasons, the returns have been very poor. The NPS has failed to protect the post- retirement welfare of government employees and now employees want to return to the Old Pension Scheme,” he said.

He also said that while those in the NPS should be brought to the OPS, and those without any pension benefits should be given the NPS. “Managements cannot give matching contribution and hence the government should pitch in,” he said.

Supporting Mr. Gowda’s argument, Mr. Manjunath said it was fair that if elected representatives, including MPs and MLAs, are getting the OPS, others should also be given it. “If not even elected representatives should be given the NPS,” he said.

Another BJP member, S.V. Sankanur, said a committee was set up in 2018 when H.D. Kumaraswamy was the Chief Minister to understand the problem and explore the possibility of shifting employees from the NPS to the OPS. He also pointed out that employees in aided educational institutions had neither the NPS nor the OPS. He sought to know if the government had done any study on the financial implication if the NPS was to be extended to staff of aided institutions. Y.A. Narayanaswamy (BJP) termed the NPS as “no pension scheme” since many people were retiring without any pension benefits, and gave an illustration of a just-retired government employee approaching him for a job to meet monthly family expenses.

Panel report

Responding to the discussion, House Leader Kota Srinivas Poojary said there had been political unanimity on the poor pension benefit under the NPS, and the demand of government employees had been fair. “We will ask the seven-member committee under the Additional Chief Secretary that had been tasked to study the NPS to submit the report as early as possible. We will also ask the committee to study the feasibility of extending the NPS to those working in aided institutions too,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 3:06:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/nps-has-turned-into-no-pension-scheme-council-members/article34000312.ece

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