Wednesday, 26 November 2014

MoD Reply to Parliament on OROP


(a) to (c) :  The principle of One Rank One Pension for the Armed Forces has been accepted by the Government.  The modalities for implementation were discussed with various stakeholders and are presently under consideration of the Government.  It will be implemented once the modalities are approved by the Government.


  1. The same reply w as given in Jul also.OROP has become a joke for the government

  2. Sir,
    The same reply was given by RRM to Question No 168 on 08 Jul 14 in Rajya Sabha (details below). Members should ask the progress of last 5 months.

    ANSWERED ON 08.07.2014
    Implementation of One Rank One Pension scheme
    Will the Minister of DEFENCE be pleased to state :-

    (a) The status of implementation of One Rank One Pension scheme (OROP) for the ex-servicemen;
    (b) Whether orders have been issued to the concerned pension authorities for re-calculation of pension of ex-servicemen on the basis of OROP;
    (c) If so, the details thereof; and
    (d) if not, the reasons for the delay in implementing the scheme and by what time it is expected to be implemented covering all the ex-servicemen?



    (a) to (d): The principle of One Rank One Pension for the Armed Forces has been accepted by the Government. The modalities for implementation were discussed with various stakeholders and are presently under consideration of the Government. It will be implemented once the modalities are approved by the Government.

  3. It seems the Hon'ble Defence Minister has also given an inkling as to how OROP could work. He has expressed his views on the matter.

  4. I wont take that as an inkling :).It is more of a "changing the goal post" scenario specially when he says"let us not define the period because we are in active discussion on that with finance ministry ".He wants to have the cake & eat it two.
    The most important thing is the "Period" when the reference pension will need to be compared . .Of course the "period" may also mean from when the reference date of initial pension comparison should start(CGDA seem to favor 01 Jan 2006 as the start date for initial fixation of pension which itself defies logic )
    I think the acceptable period of rationalizing (as RM calls it) after the initial fixation date , at the most should not stretch beyond 3 months.1 month to collect the data,1 month for the pre audit & 1 month to issue the orders
    Of course we can only conjure all about period.The final say will be from the the brain wave of some one at the lowest level of the hierarchy since they only seem to be the one who carry the day as far as armed forces are concerned (:

  5. @Venkatesh VT,
    I provide certain calculations for your kind consideration that 1.1.2006 or 1.7.2014 will not matter if the consideration is "same rank, same years of service, same pension."

    A. Take a Lt promoted to Capt as on 1.1.2006, has 2 years of service. His pay+GP+MSP (henceforth emoluments) at the start are 18600+6100+6000=30700 and pension 15350. On 1.7.2014 he would have 10 years service and his emoluments would be 37810 and pension 18905.

    B. Similarly a Capt with 6 years service promoted to Maj will start at 23810+6600+6000=36410 and pension 18205. On 1.7.2014 he would have 14 years service and his emoluments will be 45160 and pension 22580.

    C. A Major with 13 years service on 1.1.2006 is promoted Lt Col and will start at 38520+8000+6000= 52530 and pension 26265. On 1.7.2014 he will have 21 years of service and his emoluments will be 65870 and pension 32935.

    D. A Lt Col with 22 years of service on 1.1.2006 is promoted to Col and will start at 40890+8700+6000=55590 and pension will be 27795. On 1.7.2014 he will have 30 years of service and his emoluments will be 69830 and his pension 34915.

    My suggestion is that pension of pre-1.1.2006 should be equal to pension of 1.1.2006 or after but proportionate to years of service as provided in above examples.

  6. contd/------ We should not be confused for emoluments will be changed on rank and years of service and OROP is same pension (Rs X) for same years of service (A) for same rank (B) that an officer wh retired after 1.1.2006 will draw and also one who retires with similar years of service and rank on or after 1.1.2016 will draw.

    1. If the govt was sincere in implementing OROP ,they would have done that long ago & would not have told us to lower our expectations. & not dilly dally
      In a worst case scenario they may base the pension on a notional scale as on pay fixation on 01 Jan 2006 (same as initial pay fixation ).For e.g a particular rank with a particular years of service on that rank would have been fixed on a particular basic on 01 Jan 2006 ,as per SAI.
      We can see that this basic will be much less than the basic of a person who reached that same number of years through physical service & would have also got number of increments @3%.
      The govt may give OROP based on this figure (or to sweeten it slightly enhance it by say one to two increments )& keep the duration for next rationalization after 10 years gap(& justify this by saying that the pay commission is also every 10 years)
      All the available info points to such kind of an OROP
      Of course I would be very happy if my worst fears do not come true & govt honors the commitment in letter & spirit

  7. @Taaza Khabar:"..We should not be confused for emoluments..";

    This is not to dispute your assumptions.

    But, in order to validate your theory, could you consider obtaining the actual pension of a Lt Col who retired with 22 years of service in Jan 2006 and also the actual pension of a Lt Col, also with 22 years of service, who retired in the month of OROP implementation in 2014, which as per your comment, is Jul 2014, though I'd read elsewhere it could be March/April 2014.

    I think all "confusion" will end after you have shared the actual figures.

  8. Sirs,
    I am of the opinion that one Officer retiring on 31 Mar 2014 would get a higher last pay in comparison to another officer retired on 31 Jan 2006 with same length of service. Let us try by examples of two Lt Cols both with 20 years service.

    Officer A who retired on 31/01/2006 with 20 years service might have commissioned in Jan 1986. He will get 4cpc pay till 31/12/1995 and might be getting a pay in the rank of Capt with about 10 years service. He becomes Major in Jan 1997 on completion of 11 years service under 5cpc. He further becomes Lt Col say on completion of 16 years of service in Jan 2002 under 5cpc. We assume his pay is fixed at 13900 (with one increment in the 5cpc scale of 13500-400-18300) in addition to rank pay of 1600. He will get three more increments till Dec 2005 enhancing his pay to 15100 +1600. His pay is fixed under 6cpc on 01/01/2006 at 38770 with one increment in Pay Band -4. As on 31/01/2006 he will be getting a total pay 38770+GP 8000+MSP6000= 52770.

    Officer B who will retire on 31/03/2014 with 20 years service might have commissioned in Mar 1994. He will become Capt under 5cpc. He will further become Major in Mar 2004 on completion of 10 years service. He will become Lt Col in Mar 2007 on completion of 13 years service and he will get a pay of 37400 in Pay Band-4. He will get six increments under 6cpc and reach a basic pay of 46240 in Mar 2014. As on 31/03/2014 he will be getting a total pay 46240+GP8000+MSP6000= 60240.

    1. @SK Jain,
      With reference to your observation,
      how was pay fixation done while migrating from 4 CPC to 5 CPC?
      I am interested in knowing how, the number of increments to be awarded, was arrived at.;
      was the 4CPC Scale considered as one long integrated scale,
      or was it divided into five scales all ending at Rs.5100/- ?

  9. @sunlit, I will not be able to obtain those figures because I do not know any Lt Col who I can approach. But since you run an erudite blog, would it be possible to enlighten me?

    @SK Jain, Sir you have simplified my doubts. With OROP, the Officer A having the same service as Officer B, and if with the same rank, will get the same pension as Officer B i.e 30120 instead of 26350.

    1. @Taaza Khabar With OROP, the Officer A having the same service as Officer B, and if with the same rank, will get the same pension as Officer B i.e 30120 instead of 26350.
      This will only happen if the date of implementation is not 01 Jan 2006,as i had given the concept of effect of date of implementation (& we can see now why CGDA & MOD wants this date)
      How ever comparing the values given by Maj Jain to the latest pension tables(Circular 500) a Lt Col with 20 years would have got only 21490.& not 26350(please correct me if i am wrong)
      Again comparing this with the DGL supposedly created by Service Hq the figure for 20 years for a Lt Col is 32490/
      Hence we should try to get our concepts right first else every one will feel unduly frustrated or unduly elated.(both are bad for old pensioners :)

  10. @Taaza Khabar:"you have simplified my doubts";

    I think @SK Jain is very close to the mark. However, what he has stated is quite the opposite of what you had said, viz., "that 1.1.2006 or 1.7.2014 will not matter".

    It will matter a great deal if the pension for a retiree in Mar 2014 is higher than the pension of a retiree in same rank with the same service retiring in Jan 2006 and if the pension is fixed for all wef 01 Jan 2006 ( but payable wef Apr 2014).

    Best would be for you to get hold of actual figures to illustrate what you had stated.

  11. @sunlit,

    There are 4 points for OROP - 1. Same Rank. 2. Same years of service, 3 Same Pension. 4. Escalation/future increases built in.

    If we confine ourselves to the first 3 points for OROP, we will carry on this arithmetic of 4th, 5th CPC because by 7th CPC i.e, 1.1.2016 those two CPC will be irrelevant.

    By stating that 1.1.2006 or 1.7.2014 does not matter is because "the dynamics" mentioned may/will/should ensure that if the pension of an officer C with the same parameters as A & B is higher than that of A & B, then their pensions too need to be increased.

    My information, is Lt Col, 20 years as on 16.12.2014 - Pay in the Pay Band Rs 49260 + GP Rs 8000 + MSP 6000. Last increment was on 1.7.2014.

  12. Sirs,
    In my example I have given "example" to clarify the things and this should not be treated as "Real Data".
    However, Services HQ have prepared the tables, attached to their DGL, based of real data. Please read Note 1 below the table which reads as "Table has been prepared using real data available and best across the three services".

  13. @Taaza Khabar:"need to be increased";

    That is the whole point.

    But increased to what level of which date with effect from when?

    To my mind, if OROP is to be effective from April 2014, then the pensions of service personnel retiring on 31 March 2014 in same rank with same years of service should be the basis for parity.

    If they want OROP to be effective wef 01 Jan 2006, then the pension of the person retiring on 31 Jan 06 would need to be the basis, but arrears of pension on account of OROP ought to be paid from Jan 06 till date of implementation.

    We are, as yet, not getting into the nitty-gritty of pension parity for pre AVS-I Lt Col/Maj with more than 26 years of service. That issue needs to be addressed, sooner rather than later.

  14. Sunlit Sir,

    Please forgive my inability to provide cogent replies to your questions but

    (1) If OROP is effective from FY 2014-15 as announced in Vote on Account on 17th Feb 2014, then it will probably be effective 1.1.2014 or a date on which the Govt takes the decision like enhanced modified parity was made effective 24th Sep 2013.

    (2) To the best of my knowledge gained from reading your blog and this blog, nobody has taken up the issue of pre-AVS Maj/Lt Col with more than 26 years of service. How and who will address this issue unless someone takes it up? Pre-AVS means the issue is already almost 10 years old.

  15. Dear Taaza Khabar and Sunlit, some of the important issues connected with parity and details of cases taken up can be found on this blog post

  16. @corona8,

    Sir, thank you for the link. Please pardon my audacity in pointing out that only a case of hypothetical officers has been projected. From what I have read on your blog as well as the others, no case was taken up similar to the onetime measure in SAI 2/S/98, Para 5 (b) (iv) where substantive Majors with 21 years of service as on 1.1.1996 were given the scale of Lt Cols in the 22nd year of commissioned service.

    (2) If no case was taken up, then how would pre-AVSC Majors/Lt Cols with 26 years of service ask/demand a Col scale? As far as I know only one Cdr and one Sqn Ldr challenged the AVSC implementation in Higher Courts and did not succeed in getting a decision in their favour. Their cases were not for the 26 year clause.

    (3) I have gone through about 275 cases in the case list of the Apex Court but did not find any. Would you be able to provide me the case no. so that this wrong impression is removed/corrected?

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. @Taaza Khabar: The issue of Maj being given Lt Col scale was on different grounds as was once pointed out by Maj Navdeep either on his blog or in a chat, I can't exactly recall.

    It would be best to check with veterans closely associated with RDOA if there has been any progress on the representation made by RDOA to MOD on this Lt Col with 26 yrs issue.

    The case of the Sqn Ldr, as I remember, was also based on some rather vague argument about treating reserve liability period as "service".

    Someone should be able to contact that gentleman and find out if he had taken up the case in a higher court.

    I have not come across anyone who had made an official representation on the lines suggested in the blog post linked to in the comment by @corona8. Perhaps that avenue could be explored by someone affected.

  19. @coron8,

    Thank you for the link. Supercession, the way you have termed it, with due emphasis on the factors), appears to be a needless appraisal of performance, and this error needs to be compensated by a financial consideration when the officer retires. It flies in the face of logic because if non-performance, fault of the IO/RO/system etc have to end ignominiously, why have a performance appraisal at all?

  20. @SK Jain: "Pandora Box";

    OROP, NFU, Rank-Pay, IAF Gp Capt(TS) retirement at 57 yrs, OROP from March 2014 or Jan 2006....these are all Pandoras Boxes.

    Wherever there is discrimination, affected parties have taken up their own cases and obtained legal redress.

    Each case and its representation is different. Also, if the legal representation is sub-standard, not much good can be expected from it.

    Besides, many of the decisions of AFT which ran contrary to interests of veteran litigants were subsequently reversed by higher courts.

    Veterans who were made to retire at age 54 as time scale Gp Capts in IAF are now in a legal battle to obtain redress for the loss as the retirement of Gp capt (TS) was later enhanced to 57 years by court-order which found the difference in retirement 'discriminatory'.

    How, as @Taaza Khabar had mentioned, did Majs get the scale of Lt Col after 21 years of service?

    @Aerial View had brought to our notice the case of a Navy Cdr who could not obtain redress for non-grant of TS rank of Capt(IN) on grounds of discrimination as the HSC agreed service conditions applicable to the Navy were different from those in IA and IAF.

    In the case of the branch commissioned Sqn Ldr of IAF who did not get relief from AFT for not having got a promotion to Wg Cdr as applicable to his type of commission after AVS-I, the fault lay mostly on the nature of arguments made. That matter needed a RTI campaign and expert legal strategy.

    Besides, your comment suggests the case is about rolling back date of AVS implementation. It is not, as far pension parity is involved.

    My blog post, and all the others linked in it, make it fairly clear on how it is discriminatory for a pre AVS Maj or Lt Col, (S) as well as (TS), to get less pension than a Col(TS) with equal service.

  21. @corona8, service conditions for Army and Air Force different from Navy? Sorry, sir, the HSC judgment dismissing Cdr Kshirsagar's petition only stated that "Navy which has to work out its service specific requirements including the additional vacancies CA arising out of of SLP ( C ) No. 24003 of 2007) Decided On: 16.03.2009.

    Insofar as Sqn Ldr C Singh's case was concerned he requested that 2 years of Reserve service should be taken into account and he should have been promoted to rank of Wg Cdr "notionally for retiral benefits." It had nothing to do with type of commission. TRANSFER APPLICATION NO. 177 OF 2010 IN S.B. CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO. 441/2005 DATE OF JUDGMENT 17th AUGUST , 2010.

    Thirdly, the Gp Capt retirement age case had a precedent in the different ages for Ground duties in the Air Force (incidentally Flying Branch retirement age remains 54 years) Civil Appeal 4717-4719 of 2013.

    Which brings me back to the question, which many others have asked, "Why hasn't any affected Army officer filed a case," even in the AFT, let alone is Higher Courts? Your sustained espousal of the case notwithstanding, there hasn't been any RTI filed, else you would have shared the information for enlightening us here or on your blog.

  22. @Taaza Khabar: I think the point has been totally missed. The HSC agreed with the contention of Naval HQs that different conditions applied to Officers of Indian Navy so there was no discrimination if they were not given TS ranks on the same lines as the Army and Air Force. Vacancies or no vacancies, the issue arose out of a case against discrimination.

    The type of commission for the Sqn Ldr assumes importance only to illustrate to others that the officer was asking for promotion to Wg Cdr rank as prior to AVS-I branch commissioned officers in Air Force were promoted only upto rank of Sqn Ldr. This case can therefore not be confused with a pre AVS-I PC Maj, Lt Col(TS) or Lt Col, with more than 26 years of service, not getting the same pension as that of a Col(TS) with equal service who retired after AVS-I was implemented.

    There is the issue of AVS-I not having been retrospective and there is the separate issue of pension parities for post and pre AVS-I retirees. These two are connected in a way, but discrimination regarding pension is more glaring. Anyone feeling agitated even slightly over OROP and NFU should first of all think how much more this pre/post AVS matter discriminates than non grant of OROP or NFU.

    There is no direct Gp Capt "precedent" for ground duty TS Gp Capt retirement age. Where was the TS Gp Capt rank earlier? Where is the question of a precedent? It is all based on application of principles of non-discrimination.

    As to the matter of anyone having filed an appeal, all I can say is, first of all, it is a far better thing to first, for people in the pre AVS-I more than 26 category, to submit applications to their respective HQs and see what the response is.

    And why should or should not there be an appraisal system? The objectives and aims are clear enough in all policy letters. Appraisal and promotion systems can not be a tool for exercising hubris, settling scores and expressing biases. If the promotion appraisal system was so perfect, why would so many seniors having been graded 9.9 out of 10 for personal integrity would have been later on found fit for court martial for lack of the same attribute?

    Suffice it to say, with all its limitations, the service does need some system for deciding who is more likely to deliver the goods in specific appointments and who would be better as person in-charge of processes and actions at crunch time. This may throw up suitable candidates or, as time has shown again and again, it may not. But if the system does select people for superseding others, fair enough. There is however no case for a life long discrimination in matters relating to pension.

    My blog post could not have been clearer on that. Three years of being superseded is good enough for any Officer to give even a potentially flawed appraisal and promotion system benefit of the doubt that selecting officers considered fit for promotion could possibly have been better for meeting service requirements.

    How is this manner of supersession a justification for a Col(TS) with 26 years of service getting more pension than a Lt Col or Maj with the same service just because the latter retired before Dec 2004?

  23. @corona8,

    With due apologies, I draw your attention to the following facts based on documented evidence.

    1. Cdr Kshirsagar's CA was dismissed because the terms and conditions of service in the Navy are different from Army or Air Force. Navy's contention (in Para 13) was that if the AVSC recommendations were implemented as the appellant (Cdr Kshirsagar) prayed, then " would result in the supersession of 1300 Cdrs (Select List)" who were senior in a single stroke. In Para 16 of the judgment the Court also states"....If the guidelines and policy dated 11.3.2005 are understood as suggested by the appellant, entire protection given to the Cdrs (Select List) ...would get disturbed....the High Court came to the right conclusion to repel submission based on Article 14."

    2. In the case of Sqn Ldr C Singh it had nothing to do with some type of commission officers not being promoted. He had attained the age of superannuation of 57 years on 31.8.2004 and was transferred to 2 years Reserve Liability. As AVSC was implemented w.e.f. 16.12.2004, he wanted the two years Reserve liability to be reckoned for notional promotion to Wg Cdr and therefore pension of a Wg Cdr.

    3. There was a precedent, Sir, in that Gp Capt pre-AVSC retired at 54 years of age and post AVSC at 57 years of age. The challenge was to para 5 (d) of the AVSC letter which stated that Gp Cpt (TS) would get all the benefits of Gp Capt (Select) except they would retire at 54 years of age, which became post retirement age for Wg Cdrs. Apex Court agreed that there cannot be two different retirement ages in the ground duty branches i.e. 57 years for Gp Capt (Select) and 54 years for Gp Capt (TS). You may read the judgment to see that Gp Capts (Select) retire at 54 years of age and it has not been changed.

    4. Sir, you write about hubris, settling scores and expressing biases. Some one was assessed 9.9 out of 10 (isn’t the scale ceiling at 9?) because of his performance at that stage. Did he commit something that found him fit for GCM and yet the 9.9.(sic) was retained?

    5. And, Sir, of “justification for a Col (TS) with 26 years of service getting more pension than a Lt Col or Maj with same service,” the answer is as simple as the question. For good or for ill, the Armed Forces (as also the bureaucrats) have a hierarchy. Those higher up in the hierarchy will be paid more. I recommend you have a look at the annual civil NFU list and compare it with the service list of the same batch. It would be revealing that everyone in the batch does not get NFU.

  24. @Taaza Khabar: I must beg to differ. If there is a hierarchy concept, let us stop asking for NFU. There is no basis for applying the "hierarchy" concept to different pensions just across an arbitrarily fixed date. Why are we asking for OROP, other parities etc?

    It is clear as daylight. The situation is : Pension of Col if an Officer retired on 31 Dec 2004 with more than 26 years of service, but pension of Lt Col if he retired on 30 Nov 2004 with the same, or more, service!! What has hierarchy got to do with that? It seems to me some in the armed forces are inclined to be disingenuous in arguing against facts or logic that somehow challenge set patterns of thought. Discrimination is what it is. How does a hierarchy enter the picture with two individuals with identical service just on the basis of an arbitrary date? How does your view on hierarchy not apply to Gp Capt(TS) vis-a-vis a Gp Capt (Select)? Since there is a hierarchy would you argue 57 years for "select" and 54 years for TS is a fair basis for retirement ages? The Hon'ble court did not think so.

    As for the GCMs and other examples of the appraisal system having been found flawed and in error, let us just put it this way, a grading or an ACR is not carved in stone by some higher power. It is just another person making a guess at what another person is in terms of capability. If it serves the purpose of an organisation then that is alright upto an extent. You are clearly not grasping the very simple issue that appraisals and promotions along with super-sessions which may or may not be necessary while in service can't be converted into a basis for discrimination regarding pensions after retirement if the service rendered is the same and just the attributes of a rank have changed across an arbitrary date.

    You are merely repeating what I have said about the case of the branch commissioned Air Force Officer. As to why he wanted to argue for a benefit on the basis of his reserve liability I am unable to understand. In his case, purely from the pensionary aspect, he ought to at least think in terms of discrimination as another Branch Commissioned officer with the same service retiring on or after 31 Dec 2004 would be getting the pension of, in their case, a Wing Commander. The 26 years matter does not apply to that type of commission. That is why that case is different. But if it is a matter of principle, certainly, arbitrarily fixing the date of implementation as mid December 2004 for AVS-I has been repeatedly questioned online and in personal discussions.

    I am not in the picture about what happened to the representation made by RDOA regarding this subject. Best would be to get in touch with them and enquire.

  25. @corona8 & taazakhabar,

    Please cease fire!

  26. :-)

    Well put, Sir.

    At least the fire could be directed towards pay-offices/ CDA as to what is happening to the ground level implications of Rank Pay arrears before getting into bigger things such as OROP and AVS-1. It can't hurt to shift attention to rank-pay related allowances.