OROP demand

Updated - March 29, 2016 04:12 pm IST

Published - August 20, 2015 12:59 am IST

The facts regarding the one rank, one pension scheme do not seem to have been made clear to the public. It is not as if the services’ pensioners have been denied something that other pensioners enjoy. The basic principle behind government pension entitlement, namely the last pay drawn and the length of qualifying service, is applied to them as to everyone else. When successive (decennial) pay commissions give their awards, old pensioners are given some formulated increase, but not parity with the current incumbents of the same rank. The only group which enjoys OROP (unfairly) is a small group of pensioners from the top-most echelons of civil and military services, falling under the ‘apex scale’, like secretaries to the government, Lt. Generals and above in the army, and equivalent cadres in the other services. Extending OROP to all services’ personnel will only open the floodgates. Our ex-servicemen do need some amelioration/fair deal in respect of a special problem which affects most of them — that many of them have to retire early (if they do not get promoted to the next rank within a prescribed period) and which reduces their length of service and hence their pension entitlement. It seems on average that most defence services pensioners get only about 70 per cent of the full pension (50 per cent of the last pay) they would have got had they retired on superannuation, with 33 years of service. It is certain that the government will not be able to implement OROP. It should make this clear without delay and offer some other form of reasonable relief.

A.N. Lakshmanan,Bengaluru

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