Tuesday, 1 October 2013

More Points of View on OROP - Courtesy Bee Cee

On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 10:49 PM, CK Sharma wrote:

We can keep trying to confuse the issue in any way that we wish to -- but that will never help the cause!

Let us take two cases:

Lt Col A, who left the service after 20 yrs, should get what a Lt Col of 20 yrs of service would get today.

Whereas, Lt Col B, with 24 yrs of service (or, whatever!) must get what a Lt Col of 24 yrs will get today.

And what Lt Col B will get will obviously be more than what Lt Col A would get. Where is the error in this?

The ONLY loss/gain would be if Lt Col A had become a Lt Col after 14 yrs and Lt Col B became a Lt Col after 17 yrs -- and then, both retired after a total of 24 yrs. B will gain a bit and A will not lose anything.

Is it worth it to cavil on this and ensure no one gets anything?

As I said, please try and keep it simple else every one of us are going to be taken for a ride on this!

PS: I am sending this on BCC to a few others -- may I please have your opinions on this? Thanks.

From: B Bates
To: indianveterans
Sent: Thursday, 13 September 2012 11:57 PM

Subject: Re: [indianveterans] FW: Govt Freebies In A Nutshell

Other way round. Two Navy Cdrs both of 24 years service, post 2006 retirees, from the same NDA course and same date of retirement need not get the same pension as their date of promotions to Cdr's rank could have a differential of say 1 or 2 years on account of:
·                     Branch they belong to (in some branches promotions are faster and in some slower)
·                     Accelerated seniority they may have gained during courses after their commission. This can be as high as 1 year as well as few months negative seniority in some cases.
This would contradict the examples of Lt Col 'A' and Lt Col 'B' given by CK.

No confusion here but just a clarification. 

B Bates 

On 13 September 2012 21:58, Ved Sachar  wrote:
   Dear Sirs,

What the Government is doing is starting the pensions for those with full pensionable service including weightage ( 33 years ) from the lower end instead of highest end of the slab. If they start with the Highest in the Slab, then full justice is done to the pre 96 and post 96, because the veterans with less than 33 years would also get correspondingly what the serving with  the same service would get pension on retirement

What effect it has is that those with lower number of years from 33 years go down correspondingly FROM THE LOWEST OF THE BAND. But the catch is that minimum assured pension has been declared corresponding to the minimum of the Band. Therefore what it means is all within the same Rank have been clubbed together. So those with 33 years are the Peters and those with lesser number of pensionable service are the Pauls.

Pensions corresponding to 33 years of service have to start for the pre 96 from the highest end of the Slab.



From: Mehandru
To: indianveterans
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2012 1:39 PM
Subject: RE: [indianveterans] FW: Govt Freebies In A Nutshell

Thanks Balraj, It is as simple as this .Let us be happier if more and more veterans get the best possible pension and not feel “uske Kapade mere se safed kyon “

From: On Behalf Of B Bates
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2012 1:27 PM
To: indianveterans
Subject: Re: [indianveterans] FW: Govt Freebies In A Nutshell

As brought out by Air Cmde Murugan, there is a SC judgement (summarised below) which needs to satisfied as a first step to OROP:

Secretaries Committee earlier quoted the Supreme Court Judgement to reject our claim of OROP as violating the principles of equality before law guarantied by our constitution. Supreme Court has in fact clearly mentioned that Pensioners irrespective of their date of retirement form a homogeneous Class defined essentially by their rank and service and there cannot be any sub-division among them.

If that be so and if we keep on having our own definitions of OROP (ie sub division among pensioners incl who benefits and who looses, etc), we will again run into the same problem and hurdle.

To meet the legal requirement of a homogeneous group, easiest way is a simple and straight forward definition of OROP ie same pension, same rank, same seniority in that rank for pre 2006 retirees as is currently applicable to post 2006 retirees

Once this is definition of OROP is accepted by Govt and is also legally acceptable to SC, then some operational / implementation issues which may arise could be decided by Committee / MoD / Service HQ and sub rules framed to overcome them.

Another (3rd) point to my last (2 points) re same rank, same length of service, same pension is:
  • We have cases in Navy where officers after CM / Disciplinary actions have lost seniority.
In short we have and would have many post 2006 retirees of same rank, same length of service drawing different pensions. Whereas same rank and same seniority in the rank would be drawing same pension intra and inter Services.

Time to do a rethink and keep the definition of OROP simple and straight forward ie same pension for pre 2006 retirees as for post 2006 retirees under same rules. Time to cross the first step first.

B Bates

On Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 11:15 AM, Vinod Gandhi wrote:
Dear All

There is no definition of OROP which will satisfy all situations. That is the reason we see more that 100 tables in our pension table. This is the reason MOD and CDA tell everyone that they do not have resources to calculate pension of all to satisfy all situations. IESM idea of OROP is to ensure approximately 98% situations will be covered in it. That is the reason it has been kept as same pension for same rank and same length of service. We can keep discussing individual situations and keep confusing the definition. Moreover this definition covers maximum numbers of JCOs and ORs, who constitute 99% of veterans. If veterans themselves can not arrive at a OROP definition how can we expect DESW, MOD and CDA to help us. They take advantage of the confusion in our minds.


Gp Capt VK Gandhi VSM
Gen Sec IESM
L - 48, Sector - 25,
NOIDA. 201301
Tele no 01204313951
Mobile   09810541222

With due apologies and thanks to Air Cmde Murugan, here is Pension for Dummies as per me:

Post 2006 retirees & as per Govt rules

Seniority in Rank determines Last Salary detetermines Pension

IESM proposal for pre 2006 retirees

Last Rank + Total Service determines Pension

B Bates

On Sat, Sep 15, 2012 at 12:41 AM, Murugan Subbiah  wrote:

This may be my last mail on this discussion. This has become a bit long because I tried to explain the background to this case. It appeared to me from the mails that some were not exposed to these developments. I am sorry for its length.

 There are policies on promotion, pay scales, retirement, pensions, cadre reviews etc. Government has powers to effect changes in these policies that may (in their wisdom) promote efficiency. Enlightened governments do discuss important changes with stake holders. But there is one universal fundamental rule in effecting these policy changes. The rule is that any policy change should not violate the prevailing law of the Land.

If two persons possess same attributes in respect of a policy or rule, they have to be treated equally before law. Just because one of them retired before 2006 cannot be used to deprive him of certain retirement benefits as compared to another possessing same attributes but retired after 2006. This is equality before law. Of course, one needs to show that both Pre-2006 pensioner and Post 2006 pensioner belong to same class.

 There is a certain retirement policy approved by last Pay Commission. This policy says that Pension of an officer retiring after 2006 will be half of the pay that was drawn by him at that time of retirement. This policy does not say that Pension of the retiree after 2006 will be based on TOTAL years of service rendered by him. This policy had been accepted by Service HQ and also by all pensioners who retired after 2006 (The fact that they get a high pension is incidental due to a higher pay scale).

Let us now look at those who retired before 2006. His Pension was fixed up adhoc by Pay Commission by a formula (with some weightage) as this retiree was not drawing any pay but was only paid his pension. The Pay Commission also mentioned as a safeguard that the pre-2006 retiree should at least get a minimum pension that is half of lowest end of the pay scale applicable to his rank in the new pay scale.

 The Bureaucrats twisted this recommendation by interpreting wrongly (our perception supported by verdict of AFT) that the pre-2006 retiree will get half of the lowest end pay of applicable Pay Band (not pay scale) as pension. That is how the Pre-2006 retirees of ranks Lt Col, Col and Brigadier ended up getting same pension plus half of Rank Pay according their ranks.

We had represented to the Govt that pre-2006 retirees of a rank and post 2006 retirees of same rank have same attributes and belong to same class. They had performed same type of Jobs in the same organisations with same responsibility and accountability. They retired from the service same manner under same conditions. Therefore, both groups, pre-2006 retirees and post-2006 retirees, should be given same benefits as their attributes for performance are same. A "Date of retirement" based on a Pay Commission completing its task can not be used to discriminate between these two groups in awarding benefits.

But, on the other hand, the Govt claims that benefits based on the current rule (half of last drawn pay) is only applicable to those officers who have served and retired after 2006 and not to old pensioners who retired earlier. Pay Commission had recommended this pension rule for Post 2006 retirees only.

Our One Rank One Pension proposal is primarily based on the principle that a date of retirement of a pensioner cannot be used to sub-divide a homogeneous class/group of pensioners and accord them different benefits. This is violation of a fundamental right for equality of an Indian citizen before law as these two groups should be treated equally because they belong to same class.

 Some of us want to define OROP differently. According to them, pensioners of same rank and same TOTAL years of service should receive same pension irrespective of their date of retirement. We should remember that the group of Pensioners who retired after 2006 are governed by the rules promulgated by Govt for its employees as the pensioner was a serving officer on 1 Jan 2006. He is governed by the existing Pension rule that half of his last drawn salary will be his pension. His salary is based on the number of years that he served in that rank and therefore his pension is also based on years of service in that rank. His Pension is NOT based on TOTAL years of Service. Please also remember that a post 2006 officer becomes a pensioner like the Pre 2006 pensioner on the day of retirement as both have the same attributes.

If some of us want a post-2006 retiree to accept a pension based on TOTAL number of years of Service, you are forcing a Pension norm that was not really applicable to this post 2006 pensioner. He is in fact governed by a different pension rule (based on years of service in that RANK) recommended by the Pay Commission. We must also remember that this pension rule is fully accepted by the Post 2006 retirees as it provides a higher Pension based on his current higher salary scale.

Please ponder what is easier and feasible- either to force Post 2006 pensioner to follow our proposed norm based on TOTAL years of Service or the Pre 2006 merely follow the already approved Pension rule based on years of service in the RANK implemented for Post 2006 pensioners.

Can you plead discrimination within a class of Defence Pensioners, sub divided by the date 1 Jan 2006, and ask for protection if you do not want to follow the pension rule, already approved for Post 2006 pensioners that had not been challenged in any court so far?

With practically no active promoters to our OROP cause among political parties and Bureaucrats, our hope lies with The Courts who try to dispense justice according to law. Imagine the following scenario in the court if we approach them for justice.
Judge to Petitioner: Do you consider all defence pensioners as a class and should be treated alike according to their common attributes?

Our Lawyer: Yes, My Lord. Defence Pensioners constitute a homogeneous class irrespective of their date of retirement.

Judge: How is the pension of a Post 2006 pensioner calculated?

Our Lawyer: It is based on the rank at which he retired and the pay scale applicable to that rank including stagnant increments if any. The last drawn pay is based on the number of years of service in that rank and the Post-2006 retiree gets half of the last drawn pay.

Judge: That means that his rank at the time of retirement and the number of years of service in that rank decide the quantum of pension.

Our Lawyer: Yes, My lord.

Judge: How do you define  OROP as applicable to  Pre- 2006 pensioner and also post 2006 pensioner?

Our Lawyer: Our OROP demand is same pension for same rank on same TOTAL number of years of service irrespective of date of retirement.

Judge: You said earlier that Post 2006 retirees under the current law are paid pension based on their rank and years of service in that rank. They are the serving officers and they became pensioners on the day they retired. They have not come before this court to change this policy. But you claim now that irrespective of date of retirement, all pensioners should be paid pension based on their rank and total years of service. you have included post 2006 pensioners also in this group. How can you claim equality before law between the two groups of Pensioners having same attributes but retired before and after 2006 when you are suggesting a norm for pre 2006 that is quite different from one currently implemented for post 2006 pensioners. Under these conditions how can you ask for protection from discrimination under law? We cannot grant you any protection under law because you had refused to follow an approved pension rule for both pre and post 2006 pensioners who are also part of Pensioners class."

I am asking the dispassionate individuals whether the above scenario is highly probable if go the legal way. Let us not evaluate policies based on what one would personally get. Or how to manage to get the maximum possible pension even if it is not logical? Let us attempt to get what the law permits and at the same time Justice is done to our cause.

I had mentioned this couple of years ago and I mention it again. I personally benefit if the OROP is based on TOTAL years of service. I stagnated as Air Cmde for two full years after my clearance (one year after issue of letter for clearance to the next rank that was uncommon during those days in IAF) to my next rank due to lack of vacancies in the Technical Branch in IAF. I retired on super annuation. But I will be doing great damage to our cause if I supported a wrong definition of OROP (based on total years of service) that might destroy our legal justification and ruin our case beneficial to large number of retirees.

Some questions were raised about Supreme Court verdicts. These cases have been referred in the Report of Secretaries Committee, The two cases were Rathee Vs Union Of India and IESL Vs Union Of India. Please note IESL is the biggest ESM representative organisation. Both cases were dismissed.

The Petitioners had defined OROP (wrongly) as one Pension for one Rank irrespective of Date of retirement. Court said that within a rank, officers of same rank got different pay based on different years of service. Hence they are also entitled for different pensions. The demand for one rank and one pension is therefore not tenable. The request of the petitioner was to treat "Unequals" as "equals." This violates the principle of equality before law. Hence the Petitions were dismissed.

Let us not face similar problem if we ever decide to go to court. It is better to define your demand as required by current law and not based on some personal preferences of individuals.

There are three choices for you to consider.

(A) OROP can be defined as same pension for officers of same rank and years of service in that rank irrespective of their date of retirement. Here there is already a govt approved norm for awarding the Pension. We have only to prove that Pre 2006 pensioners and Post 2006 pensioners belong to the same class as a serving officer of Post 2006 becomes a pensioner and joins the Pre-2006 group on the date of retirement as they both possess the same attributes. Then what is applicable to post 2006 pensioner is also applicable to Pre 2006 pensioner and we get our OROP irrespective of date of retirement.

(B) A complimentary proposal to OROP should be on grant of NFU. NFU guarantees a career up to HAG grade provided one meets the promotion criteria and also within the age before super annuation. This removes a major bottle neck of steep pyramid in Service organisations forcing many bright officers to retire earlier as compared to civilians. In this way they will draw not only a higher Pay during service but also a higher pension after retirement. A "Compensation grade pay scale" as suggested by Veteran BIJI Cherian can also be considered.

(C) OROP can be defined as same pension for the same rank with same TOTAL years of service irrespective of date of retirement. This is pregnant with many contradictions and inconsistencies. We cannot force the Post 2006 pensioners to change an approved Pay scale based on years of Service in rank and a pension rule. It is extremely difficult to prepare pension tables based on total years of service without infringing one norm or other. Difficult to convince Service Hq and also Govt. Same with courts explained above.

This is a free country . You can definitely consult lawyers and consultants to assist you to make a best choice. You can make your choice and project them to next PC specific for Defence Services. Good Luck and God Bless.


From: bijicheriyan
To: Addressees
Subject: RE: [indianveterans] FW: Pension for Dummies
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2012 14:37:58 +0530

I think this is one of those occasions when we are discussing specifics. May I suggest continuing the discussion rather than ending it? This may be a longish mail but I think some fundamentals need to be understood. 

On pensions, and in particular OROP, I have very little background but I do have some points that may be worth considering.

Post 2006 change - All employees became eligible for full pension (50% of last pay drawn) at 20 years. That is, last pay drawn is important but years of service (total or in the rank) became irrelevant as long as you have met the 20 year criteria. Should we not take advantage of this change and stop discussing years of service at all. (Personally, I disagree with the logic of the CPC as it negates the definition of pension being 'deferred pay', but that is not really our look out). Of course some may benefit more than others, but that happens in every change. What we may need to debate on, is merely to find the appropriate rung in the 'deep well' analogy that Adm. Alan O Leary has mentioned. This may have to be arbitrary for ease of calculation and - top, middle, wherever. The present norm is the bottom.

Also the difference between those retiring in the currency of a CPC and past pensioners will remain. Let it not happen that we debate for years on 'the years of service, in rank or total', only to be reminded by some low level functionary later that it is irrelevant post VI CPC.

As far as NFU is concerned, I know even less, but isn't it tailored to the civil pay scales and career progression? How are we proposing it when even the limited benefits without it seem to be unacceptable to Service HQs?

Fundamental Problem - But the issue that I want to highlight is something I have been bringing up now and then but has also been touched by Wg Cdr Bendre (perhaps inadvertently). Pension depends on your pay. Much of our problem of low pensions, particularly for officers upto Brig level is a consequence of declining (relatively that is) pay levels. In particular, as a consequence of the AVS/VI CPC double whammy over the IV CPC damage. OROP (as I understand it) may nibble at the edges but is not going to resolve this fundamental flaw. Let me explain, using the fate of the Major and I am ready to be corrected if someone can convince me otherwise.

From the IV CPC onwards, the general CPC norm for pay progression is that all the Organised Gp A Services and Armed Forces shall have a similar career/pay progression upto 14 years. The pay grade reached in this manner was called Selection Grade. For civil side it was JAG (SG) and for Army it was Major (SG). Promotion to this grade was routine and hence most in the Services were not even aware of its existence. In the Navy, the same promotion board that considered officers for promotion to Cdr also decided on giving Sel Gde to Lt Cdrs who missed the promotion. If you read the CPC report, it does mention about the doing away of Maj (SG) in view of the integrated scale being adopted. But in keeping with their norms the integrated scale for the Major ended exactly where the civil NFSG/ Director scale (4500-5700) ended, as has been brought out in an earlier mail. But since the scales got merged into the integrated scale, the equations got blurred. 
In other words, the Major and the Director (and the Comdt (SG)) retired at the same pay (Don't want to add to the confusion with the pay fixation damage at this stage), and drew similar pension. If anyone has PPOs of the time for all three, they can check and I am sure I won't be off the mark.
If we had not insisted on being different and tinkered with the fairly generous pay/pension offered, the Major would have continued to draw the pay/pension close to that of the Director/Comdt (SG). But this is the pay/pension now (post VI CPC) available to the Col with possibly minor variation for MSP.

When Bagga/AVS happened, the service required to become Major was reduced to 6 (?) years. The VI CPC therefore (logically) reduced his pay scale as per existing norms to the 6th year pay scale (previously available to Capt) on the 14 year 'sliding scale'. It would have been really surprising if this was not done. Unfortunately for retired Majors, our obsession with ranks ensured that their pension was also reduced to correspond to the revised pay of the Major instead of it continuing, based on the pay they had retired in (currently that of Col), as applicable to civilians. Similar reduction but to a lesser extent has occurred for Lt Col, Col and Brig. This would not happen if retiring pay rather than rank is taken as the basis. That, in a nutshell is the fundamental flaw.

Will OROP resolve this?

Let me also make a point on another issue raised by Wg Cdr Bendre that the real damage was at 3rd CPC. I don't think that is true. Of course the increase may have been minimal, but I suspect it was across the board for all govt. employees because of the then economic situation/socialist approach etc. It was from the IV CPC onwards that fairly clear and transparent(and generous) norms were laid down by CPCs for Organised Gp A Services. But Service HQs chose, even insisted, on staying out of its ambit. So we have a paradoxical situation where veterans are seeking higher pensions but Service HQs are undercutting it by seeking lower pay levels. This is the are that we may need to address.

I therefore agree with Air Cmde Murugan that it is better to align our demands with existing laws and norms rather than go off at a tangent. Can anyone tell me of even one gain, that we have had by being 'different' in pay matters. But by now most us are aware of the losses.
On the other hand, I do not think that these issues are 'that complex' in the fundamentals. It is we who have made it needlessly cumbersome by seeking to create special rules for everything. I have little background in pay/logistics/accounts matters, nor have I been part of our pay cells. Just happened to notice some inconsistencies in our proposals to the V CPC, when my then boss asked me to look at it, and then we dug deeper. That's all.



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