Tuesday, 3 May 2016

KEEPING THE ARMED FORCES YOUNG TO DEFEND BHARAT MATA



1.       It is often argued that the MoD must have Armed Forces officers at the decision making levels. The proposal, if there was/is one, has been stymied time and again by the “bureaucracy.” This non-availability of Armed Forces officers at decision making levels has often given the lasting impression that the bureaucracy’s left hand does not know what its right hand is doing. Here is one more of the glaring and embarrassing examples.

2.      On 12.3.2005, the MoD vide F No. 4(2)/US (L)/ D(Air-III)/04 directed the Air Force (and in separate letters, the Army and Navy) to implement the first part of the Ajai Vikram Singh Committee (AVSC)  w.e.f 16.12.2004 by putting into effect the following changes in the Promotion policy of Officers other than those in the AMC, ADC, RVC, and MNS: -

(a)     Newly commissioned officers would be in the rank of Flying Officers (Fg Offr) and equivalent,

(b)     Eligible Fg Offs (and equivalents) would be granted promotion to the rank of Flight Lieutenants (Flt Lt), and equivalent on completion of 2 years of commissioned service,

(c)     Eligible Flt Lts (and equivalents) would be granted promotion to ranks of Squadron Leaders (Sqn Ldr), and equivalent on completion of 6 years of commissioned service,

(d)     Eligible Sqn Ldrs (and equivalents) would be eligible for promotion to ranks of Wing Commanders (Wing Cdr) and equivalents on completion of 13 years of commissioned service, and

(e)     Wg Cdrs would be considered (empanelled) by Promotion Boards for promotion to the rank Group Captains (Gp Capt) Select. Those Wg Cdrs not placed on the select list would be considered twice more and unsuccessful Wg Cdrs would finally be promoted to Gp Capt - Time Scale (and equivalent) 0n completion of 26 years of commissioned service.

(f)      The above Wg Cdrs (and equivalents), would be approximately 38 years old on first consideration in the 18th year of Commissioned Service, and would be approximately 40 years of commissioned when they are Permanently Passed over in the third consideration.

3.      As admitted, the objective of the MoD in implementing the AVSC was to lower the age profile of officers eligible for promotion to the ranks of Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel – Select (and equivalents) to ensure that the Armed Forces have younger and physically fit officers [age profile is stated by MoD in Para 4 of Civil Appeal 3208 of 2015 of UoI & Another Vs Lt Col P K Choudhary & Others in the Command & Exit Policy].

4.      Vide separate policies for Pre-Mature Retirement (PMR) for the Army and Navy, and Premature Separation from Service (PSS) for the Air Force, Officers of the ranks of Wg Cdr (and equivalent) were permitted to apply for PMR/PSS if they were over-looked for promotion to the rank of Gp Capt – Selection Grade (and equivalent) by three Promotion Boards in consecutive years on grounds of having been Permanently Passed Over. They were entitled to full non-effective benefits such as Pension, DCRG, and Leave Encashment etc.

5.       The intention of the PMR/PSS policies was to ensure that officers of the Armed Forces had a younger age profile recommended by the AVSC and approved by the MoD.

6.      MoD now appears to have issued an implicit but unstated policy of preventing the PMR/PSS by Para 4 of MoD F No. 12 (1)/2014/D (Pen/Pol) – Part II dated 7.11.2015 which states, inter alia, “Personnel who opt to get discharged henceforth on their own request under Rule 13 (3) 1 (i) (b), 13 (3) 1 (iv) or Rule 16B of the Army Rules 1954 or equivalent Navy or Air Force Rules will not be entitled to the benefits of OROP. It will be effective prospectively.”

7.       With the prospect of a considerable loss in non-effective benefits for officers, MoD will find increasingly that Permanently Passed Over Group Capts (and equivalents) and Air Commodores (Air Cmdes) and equivalents will not apply for PMR/PSS. The adverse consequences MoD’s ibid decision are as follows: -

(a)     Wg Cdrs who are Permanently Passed Over for promotion to the rank of Gp Capt – Select (and equivalent) by 3 successive Promotion Boards in the 18th, 19th and 20th year of Commissioned Service and declared ‘Permanently Passed’ will continue to remain in the Armed Forces till they are promoted to Gp Capt – Time Scale (and equivalent) rank in the 26th year of Commissioned Service.               

(b)     On promotion to the rank of Gp Capt – Time Scale and equivalent, they can and, in the post 7.11.2015 scenario, will  remain in service till the age of superannuation of 54 years for Colonels and Gp Capts of the Flying Branch of the Air Force and 56 years for Capts (IN) and 57 years for Gp Capt (TS).


(c)     Similarly, Permanently Passed Over Gp Capt – Select and Air Cmdes (and equivalents) will continue in the Armed Forces till the age of superannuation. 

8.      It is therefore a moot point if the MoD, by its decision contained in Para 4 of the 7.11.2015 letter, wishes to compel Permanently passed Over and older officers not to apply for PMR/PSS for apprehensions of loss of OROP and future enhancements, resulting in Permanently Passed Over officers remaining in service. They will block vacancies for promotion of younger officers and thereby increasing own frustration and de-motivate their juniors.

9.      It needed a vociferous public outcry and pressure from trade unions, including the Bharat Mazdoor Sangh, for the Government to rescind its decisions in the Employees Pension Fund matter. Hopefully, because the Armed Forces do not have that ‘avenue,’ the MoD would, on its own, see the unreasonableness of the PMR clause in the OROP implementation order and delete it. By withdrawing the PMR clause, MoD will not overturn it own aim and avowal of having a younger and more physically fit Armed Forces as a strategy enunciated  for the future defence of Bharat Mata.   
                
Jai Hind

21 comments:

  1. Sir,

    I could be wrong, but my feeling is non-applicability of OROP to those Officers seeking PMR after 01 Jan 2016 may not, now, be such a dis-incentive. I base this on:

    *A Gp Capt (TS) retiring in 2016 with 26 years of service would be at the same index no. of the matrix of 7 CPC as a Gp Capt (TS) with equal service retiring in 2025. So would their pensions be different as in both cases pensions will be calculated at 50% of pensionable pay? The basic pay in the case of the 2025 retiree and hence his pension may be higher in 2025 because of DA but the pension of the 2016 retiree will also be higher by the same percentage in 2025 because of DR.

    *After 01 Jan 2006, there is no problem of pro-rata reduction, a benefit now also extended to pre 2006 veterans. But, even if it had existed it would not have been much of a problem at a QS of 26 years.

    The only dis-incentive to PMR that appears to be relevant is the QS of 26 years for getting the rank of Gp Capt(TS). If the three selection boards for promotion to select rank of Gp Capt are over by QS of 21 years, the time-scale rank being given at a service of 22 yrs instead of the current 26 yrs would be a rational change and would serve as a healthy encouragement for Officers to take PMR.

    Also, in any case, officers with Time Scale ranks do not occupy posts for select ranks and would, therefore, not be a hindrance to the rise by selection of younger serving officers.

    The recent increase in retirement age of time-scale ranks however could be an issue but this was based on judicial intervention and not as a result of Govt policy. The Govt needs to apply its mind towards absorbing officers in this age-bracket in posts other than those in the services.

    However the issue of this QS of 26 years will continue to affect proper parity of pensions for older, pre 2006 retirees till it is corrected. A few related thoughts on the subject : https://goo.gl/F4ooWq

    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apologies for the delay but I needed the correct numbers and facts.
      You appear to be too sanguine in stating "Also, in any case, officers with Time Scale ranks do not occupy posts for select ranks and would, therefore, not be a hindrance to the rise by selection of younger officers."

      Sir, there are 3794 vacancies for Lt Cols, 1191 for Cdrs and 1791 for Wg Cdrs.

      If on an average 60% of the Lt Cols/Cdrs/Wg Cdrs do no make it for Col/Capt (IN)/Gp Capt (Select) where 1 out of 3 is promoted, they would be held against Wg Cdr vacancies from the 26th year onwards for Para 6 of the 12.3.2005 letter states, inter alia, "Officers holding rank of Gp Capt (TS) will be held against the authorisation of Wg Cdr....."

      Delete
  2. Sir,

    Aerial View is correct, in my humble opinion.

    May I request you to read Para 4 of the 7.11.15 letter which avers that personnel opting for discharge henceforth on their own request WILL NOT BE ENTITLED TO BENEFITS of OROP.

    My understanding is that even a Gp Capt (TS) opting for PMR/PSS will get pension as of the date of PMR/PSS but there will NOT be an change in pension if and when a review (presently 5 yearly) or enhancement takes place in the future say 8th CPC i.e. he/she is stuck at the pension as determined on the date of PMR/PSS at own request.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "..but there will NOT be an change in pension if and when a review (presently 5 yearly) or enhancement takes place in the future say 8th CPC.."

      Sir,

      With the 7 CPC matrix, there will probably be no need for a review. The main thing that creates the need for a review presently is the number of increments serving Officers continue to draw resulting in higher pensions compared to pensioners who retired a few years earlier.

      With increments already taken care of in the matrix, that requirement may no longer be that pressing.

      But, as I had mentioned in my blog-post, in the 10 years period till 2026, there could be some variations in pay or shorter QS for same ranks or introduction of other enhancements which in turn could enhance pensions of Officers retiring after the increased pensions were put in effect and that sort of enhancement would probably be passed on only under OROP. Whether that would be a sufficient consideration for people to avoid taking PMR is the real question.

      But it is true that such a clause on PMR would be rendered even more uncalled for if the effect on Govt finances is not likely to be significant.

      One other thing that could change would be introduction of NFU. With that, Officers may put off PMR till the stage they were eligible for the highest possible pension.

      Delete
    2. Thanks.

      Then what is this about annual vs 5 yearly review?

      "a review presently is the number of increments serving Officers continue to draw resulting in higher pensions compared to pensioners who retired a few years earlier."

      Serving officers draw increments for EVERY ADDITIONAL YEAR OF ACTIVE SERVICE RENDERED. When a personnel retires, he/she has rendered total service and cannot expect an increment. For example if I have retired after 30 years in 2006 and get Rs 30000 as pension, I cannot and should not expect anything more than pension for 30 years that some one else would have put in in 2016. If you want me to get an increment then you are comparing my 30 years service with someone who has 31 years and hence gets 3% more for the 31st year!

      Delete
    3. Sir,

      With the 7 CPC matrix, the index and the level determines the pay and hence the pension. If an officer has an index of say 5 in his level in 2016, then another officer with index 5 in the same level in 2018 or 2025 would still be at par.

      This issue of one year/ five years review has more relevance for the OROP as defined from July 2014 to Dec 2015 when the 7 CPC matrix does not apply.

      Delete
    4. Sir, please permit me to disagree. Even in the 6th CPC regime there is no need for yearly/five yearly review.
      For example (and not actual amounts) a serving Lt Col Alpha, on promotion in 18th year in 2012 gets Rs 50000 +Grade Pay Rs 8700 + MSP Rs 6000, another Lt Col Bravo on promotion in 18th year in 2013 will also get Rs 50000 + GP Rs 8700 + MSP Rs 6000.

      In 2014, in his 20th year Col Alpha will get Rs 50000 + Rs 8700 + 2 increments (of 3%) + MSP.

      In 2014, Col Bravo will be in the 19th year and will get Rs 50000 + Rs 8700 + 1 increment (of 3%) + MSP.

      In 2015, Col Alpha will get 3 increments because he is now in the 21st year, and in 2015, Col Bravo will get 2 increments, being in the 20th year, same as Col Alpha was in 2014.

      All Cols who retire in the 20th year,will get as pension 50% of what Col Alpha or Col Bravo earn in the 20th year. The "issue" of yearly/five yearly review is incorrect because increments are paid for additional years of service. Pensioners do not render additional years of service after retiring and hence earn no increments and hence there is no question of increase except for DR.

      Delete
    5. Here is the table for Cols & equivalents

      QS Pay GP MSP Inc Total Pension
      18 43120 8700 6000 - 57820 28910
      19 44680 8700 6000 1560 59380 29690
      20 46290 8700 6000 1610 60990 30495
      21 47940 8700 6000 1650 62640 31320
      22 49640 8700 6000 1700 64340 32170
      23 51390 8700 6000 1750 66090 33045

      So, there is no increment because if one retires at 21 QS the pension is Rs 31320 and if you give an annual/five yearly increment, you are awarding pension for 22 years to one who has rendered only 21 years of service!

      Delete
    6. Sir,

      I feel fortunate in that you have actually endorsed my logic and not really disagreed with it.

      What you have stated is precisely what I intend to convey, with a few additional points on the pension table you have put up on your comment.

      I too have felt the "1 rank 5 pensions" protest needed a little more clarification from ESM associations as related to OROP from July 2014 to Dec 2015.

      But, it is not entirely a water-tight issue. Unlike the 7 CPC matrix which uniformly fixes pay, and hence pension, in a "level" against an index based on increments earned, there is no such rigid fixation during the 6 CPC regime. The table you have provided (I assume based on 6 CPC pay-band) may not apply to all the Col retirees in 6 CPC regime.

      For example, for the QS of 22 years, with that table, we assume all Col retiring w 22 years of service would have retired with basic of 49640. That may not be the case as there would be issues like bunching, initial fixation (as on 01 Jan 2006), QS at promotion etc. Hence the need for a review based on actual pensions in that period.

      But basing pensions on the 7 CPC matrix for the period takes care of all such variations for those retiring after 01 Jan 2016, in any case, and also those who retired after 01 Jan 2006.

      It is fixing increments (index numbers) for those who retired in 5 CPC regime, keeping their QS in view, that is a very big issue. But to re-state, reviews could become necessary even with the matrix but for different reasons. In order not to repeat myself, permit me to provide another link to the issues involved https://goo.gl/8xAp1x.

      In the context of the contents of this blog-post, what seems to be of direct relevance is that not permitting PMR cases after 01 Jan 2016 to benefit from the OROP scheme effective from July 2014 may not be that much of a dis-incentive for taking PMR if the 7 CPC matrix comes into effect for fixing their pensions. That itself would provide OROP to all, including civilian retirees of the 7 CPC regime.

      The QS of 26 years for getting the Gp Capt(TS) rank may delay the PMR decision for many. If that is rationalized, a lot of Gp Capt(TS) may actually opt for PMR earlier if they'd get the rank and attendant pension benefits at QS of 22 years instead of the present 26 years.

      Delete
    7. In steady state,based on the formula for fixation of Pay in the Pay Band as elucidated in SAI/SNI/SAFI 2/S/2008 and 50% being the pension, it will not be even revised every year.

      Bunching is alleviated to some extent by one increment for those in the rank on 1.1.2006 over those promoted after 1.1.2006.

      Majors/Lt Colonels/Colonels promoted earlier will draw the same pay and pension as the ones promoted after them.

      Once pension is reset on 1.7.2014 thereafter no change need take place except on the implementation of the recommendations of the 7th CPC.

      Delete
    8. Sir,

      That's what appears if we consider only the payband.

      That's probably the reason actual OROP for Col at QS of 21 is 33320 as against the fig of 31320 in the PB based table in your illustration.

      Delete
    9. @ashwanisarda3 May 2016 at 23:35
      Sir,
      << This issue of one year/ five years’ review has more relevance for the OROP as defined from July 2014 to Dec 2015 when the 7 CPC matrix does not apply.>>
      What rendered the OROP Scheme redundant?
      Was the OROP Scheme made redundant, after 31 Dec 2015, by: -
      (a) The 7 CPC, which introduced ‘increments’ earned during the serving period into pensions? Or
      (b) Full Pension after qualifying service of 20 years made the OROP Scheme redundant?
      The OROP Scheme bestows a distinct advantage to those who had a long ‘actual’ service but not many increments while in service, due to many reasons, one such reason being stagnation.
      7 CPC gives an advantage to those who had earned many increments in a given rank but have not had a long enough, ‘actual’ service, beyond the qualifying service of 20 years.
      Full pension after 20 years of qualifying service gives the same advantage, to Pre 6 CPC retiree, who had retired just after 20 years, which a post 6 CPC retiree gets. This is the same as what the 7 CPC gives. But it pegs the pension of those who retired in the Pre 6CPC regimes to the minimum of the pay in the pay scale corresponding to the fitment tables of 6 CPC.
      Since ‘Full Pension after 20 years of qualifying service’ is applicable to all, Pre 6 CPC retirees, and those who retired prior to June, 2014, we may still find OROP to be a better dispensation than the 7 CPC award.
      OROP Scheme will find its use as long as there are people retiring, with service rendered during the 5CPC and may be in the 6 CPC too. They will bring on to the table different pays even when the qualifying service is the same at the time of their retirement.
      Those who retired Post June, 2014, are not featuring, at the present, in the OROP Scheme. They have no advantage of their total ‘actual’ service (which is a feature of the OROP Scheme) being reckoned for pension. But they have their increments earned while in service which will be reckoned, for pension computation, in the 7 CPC dispensation. But this pension could be less than the OROP pension, for the same number of actual years of service.

      Probably it is the 7 CPC (coupled with the 6 CPC) which has ‘incentivized’ longer stay in the service, and not the government letter implementing OROP.
      Why would anyone retire, if the pay as well as pension both keep getting ‘incremented’?
      Even if one does not get to be promoted to the ‘TS’ rank it is still beneficial to continue till superannuation.

      Delete
    10. @Aerial View
      Sir,
      At Para 2(f) of this post you had referred to

      <<(f) The above Wg Cdrs (and equivalents), would be approximately 38 years old on first consideration in the 18th year of Commissioned Service, ......>>
      In spite of this being the stated position of the GoI/MoD, since 16/12/2004,which means that a Lt.Col would have to spend a minimum of four years before consideration to the Select post of a Col.,the Report of the 7 CPC, at Para 5.2.15 stated <<....The minimum pay corresponding
      to each of these pay levels takes into account the normative residency period of the various
      ranks of officers..>>, but had considered a residency period of two years instead of the actual four years.
      Thus the Entry Level/Start Pay of a Col. in the Pay Matrix, is only 48900 instead of 51800.
      If revised, this will give a start of 133126 to a Col !

      Delete
    11. Sir, I stick to facts as they exist at the moment of writing a post/opinion and based on documents that support my analysis.

      I am sorry I am hopeless in the realm of "if this was like this, that would have been like that." My apologies.

      Delete
    12. @penmil:

      "..Was the OROP Scheme made redundant, after 31 Dec 2015, by: -
      (a) The 7 CPC, which introduced ‘increments’ earned during the serving period into pensions?"


      Sir,

      Till some of the 7 CPC bugs I have listed in my blog are ironed out, I don't think OROP as already implemented can at all be considered redundant.

      Unless a fool-proof method is devised for giving a proper matrix index value commensurate with QS to those who retired before 01 Jan 2006, the system of OROP review and calculating of avg of max and min pensions in review year for armed forces pensioners will have to act as a back-up to the 7 CPC matrix.

      My feeling is, if the increment based method (The matrix) is rendered more accurate, the OROP as announced last year could be considered to have been replaced by the matrix based OROP from 01 Jan 2016. With proper index values being standardized, the matrix based OROP could have several advantages over the existing OROP. I have listed those on my blog.

      In answer to your other question, I don't think OROP was rendered redundant in the least by removal of the pro rata reduction.

      But these issues do not concern the subject of this blog-post. You may consider offering your views on the issues on my blog-posts so further clarity could emerge.

      Regards.

      Delete
    13. @ashwanisarda4 May 2016 at 20:49
      Sir,
      Thanks.
      It will be interesting to see how the three schemes run parallel to each other.
      Out of the three schemes,I thought, OROP , coupled with the 'Removal of Pro-rata reduction' will be the winner, for all Pre 2006, since after removal of 'Removal of Pro-rata reduction of pensions' it would be simpler making it easy to map the past pensioners'pensions into the current pensioners' tables.
      Anyway, OROP is already in place and is running.

      Delete
  3. Sir,If this was the armoured piercing round/ bomb shell you were referring to in your previous posts , then I am sorely disappointed. Lt gen SA Hasnain ( Retd) has beautifully brought out the implications of this policy of not granting OROP to offrs seeking PMR after being overlooked for promotion in various fora including his Facebook page

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good you are disappointed. Now you don't have exceptional expectations so I will make sense when I place the contents.

      Nothing is posted unless I am sure I can back up my analysis with documented facts.

      Delete
  4. Sir, Is there any promotion policy available for PBOR, like AVSC recommended policy for officers. If It is active presently, please provide the details of policy for the information of PBOR.

    Thanks

    Jai Prakash Kain, Ex Sgt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HR POLICY- AIRMEN
      http://indianairforce.nic.in/show_page.php?pg_id=147

      Delete
  5. When the courts stuck down the the pro rata pension policy it was to ensure that no two class of pensioners(pre 2006 & post 2006) are treated differently
    In the same way can Post OROP announcement retirees who take premature retirement be treated different than Pre OROP announcement retirees (more so since the rule is applicable to defense pensioners only & a sort of OROP based on length of service is also given by 7 PC to civilians also)
    In addition are we again being discriminated viz a viz civilian pensioners

    ReplyDelete