NATIONAL CO-ORDINATION COMMITTEE OF PENSIONERS ASSOCIATIONS
13.c Feroze Shah Road,
New Delhi. 110 001
President: Com. Shiv Gopal Misra.
Secretary General: Com. K.KN. Kutty.
As you aware the Government had set up a Committee to go into the feasibility of implementation of 7th CPC recommendations concerning pension determination of pre-2016 pensioners/ family pensioners. The committee itself came into being due to the persistent postulations of the Pension department over the probable difficulties, the Department might encounter in fixing pension entitlement under option No.1 , recommended by 7th CPC. The first formal meeting was held on 6.10.2016 with the JCM Staff Side. Prior to that, we have been informed that the pension department had invited some pensioners Associations for a discussion on the same subject. We are not aware of what ultimately transpired in that meeting.
In the 6th October meeting the official side virtually reiterated what they said in the informal meeting about the difficulties in acting upon the Option No.1. suggested by the 7th CPC, the anomalies it might create etc. To overcome and obviate the difficulties they proposed an alternative. i.e. to extend the pension fixation formula propounded by 5th CPC to all pre 2016 pensioners and family pensioners. Viz. arriving at notional pay in 7th CPC by applying the formula for pay revision for serving employees in each Pay Commission and consequent pension fixation)
We have annexed the full text of minutes of the meeting of 6th October 2016. The minutes as you know well, can not reflect the entire gamut of discussions at the meeting. The Staff Side had made out the following points during the discussions.
(a) Even assuming that in about 18% of the cases service Books might not be available, it cannot be the reason to conclude that implementation of option No. 1 is infeasible. In fact it construes that in 82% of the cases, the service books are available and for that reason alone, the option suggested by the 7th CPC is to be acted upon. Moreover, the Staff Side also said that hardily 40% of pensioners are likely to opt for option No. 1 . In that case, only in 7% of the cases the non availability of Service Books will arise.
(b) As the Government has accepted the recommendation (as indicated in the Notification issued), what is required by the Committee is only to examine the feasibility thereof.
(c) There are various other documents on which the Government can rely upon like the Gradation list,(Seniority list), Pay Bill, Establishment file etc. The Gradation list, the staff side added contains all information. Including the date of promotion of the concerned individual to that grade.
(d) Staff Side also agreed that acting upon option No.1 will bring about certain anomalies and the same must be addressed.
(e) The depressed pension entitlement of those who retired without promotion, or who suffered stagnation in service, for no fault of theirs, especially the Group C and Group D employees must be appreciated.
(f) The Staff Side said that they wholeheartedly welcome the alternative proposal i.e. extension of the 5th CPC pension fitment formula to all pre-2016 pensioners as that had been their demand in the memorandum submitted to the 7th CPC itself.
(g) The staff side however, reminded the members of the Committee that the extension of the 5th CPC pension fitment formula had been the demand of the pensioners and the staff side before the 6th CPC. It was rejected on the specious plea of higher financial outflow.
(h) nIn the light of the anomalies that might arise in accepting the 7th CPC recommendation of Option No. 1, it is better, that the Government offers the same as third option, to be chosen by the pensioners on the basis of whichever is beneficial to them.
(i) At the end of the discussion, the staff side said that they would cause consultation with all state holders and will express their firm view at the next meeting which was stated for 17th October, 2016.
In the brief period that was available, the Staff Side did cause consultation with various Pensioners Association and Federations and Associations of Serving employees. That apart, the undersigned had a detailed discussion with Com. B.C. Maheswari, General Secretary Bharath Pensioners Samaj, one of the biggest pensioners organization in the country.
The staff Side met yesterday evening and the matter was further discussed at length with the feedback, it had received from various organizations as also from the Government. It came to the inescapable conclusion that replacement of Option No.1. by the alternate suggestion put forth by the Committee would harm the interest of quite a large number of pensioners/family pensioners, especially those who had retired prior to 1996. The meeting also appreciated the fact that the implementation of Option No.1. will bring about a situation of anomalies in pension entitlement especially for those pensioners, who got their promotion at the fag end of their career. They are likely to get lesser pension when compared to a pensioner who retired from a lower grade. Taking all these into consideration, the Staff Side decided that the alternative suggested by the Committee must be a third alternative which might reduce the gravity of anomaly and would bring about a better pension entitlement for certain section of the pensioners. Accordingly, the decision has been conveyed to the Committee (both orally and in writing). The copy of the letter the Staff Side has written is appended hereto.
During the discussions on 17th it has become almost clear that the Committee would go ahead with the proposal of the Pension Department denying Option No.1. which would affect adversely the pension entitlement of a significant number of pensioners/family pensioners. Perhaps it would be the first occasion that the Government chooses to reject a recommendation made by the Pay Commission. With this rejection, the scenario would be complete in as much as this would be the first Government which has rejected every suggestion of the employees and Pensioners in implementation of the Pay Commission recommendation. It has gone a step further in as much as it has tried to influence the 7th CPC at the fag end of its tenure to ensure that the minimum wage quantum is reduced. It may please be noted that the only one recommendation of the 7th CPC which came in for some appreciation amongst the various stake holders was the Pension fitment formula i.e. Option No.1. By its rejection, it can be concluded without difficulty that there is nothing in the 7th CPC by virtue of which the employees and pensioners could state that some improvement has been effected in their service/career conditions.
It must be our immediate endeavour to bring about a joint platform of all pensioners organizations to chalk out a future course of actions in pursuance of the demand of implementation of option No.1.
Copy of letter in No. NC-NJCM-2016/7th CPC(Pension) from The Secretary , Staff Side to
The Secretary (pension)
Department of Pension& Pensioners Welfare,
Govt. of India,
Sardar Patel Bhawan,
Sub: 7th CPC recommendation. Pay determination in the case of
Pre-2016 pensioners. Option No. 1. Examination of feasibility. Ref: Minutes of the meeting of the Committee in F.No. 38/37/2016
P&PW(A)Dated 10th October, 2016
We refer to the discussions held on 6.10.2016 in the matter of feasibility of acting upon the 7thy CPC recommendations (Option No. 1) in the matter of pension computation and the minutes circulated under cover of the letter cited. At the outset, we would like to state that the members of the Staff Side, who were associated with the discussions, gained an impression that the Pension Department would not like to implement the recommendation of the 7th CPC concerning Option No. 1 provided to the Pensioners in determination of the revised pension. As has been pointed out by us during the discussions on 6th October, the Government has accepted the said recommendation with a rider of its feasibility of implementation. The attempt, therefore, must be to explore the ways and means of implementing the said recommendation, which benefits a large number of retired personnel, especially those retired prior to 1996. It is, therefore, highly doubtful how any alternate proposal in replacement of the accepted recommendation would be tenable.
We have the matter considered by various Pensioners Associations as also the Federations of the Serving employees. We enumerate hereunder the feed- back we have received:
Even according to the exercise carried out by the Pension department, only in 18% of the cases, the service Books are reported to have been not available. Conversely it means that in 82% of the cases the records are available to operationalize option No.1. Besides, we find that on the basis of a random scrutiny that only 40% (Percentage varies from Department to Department depending upon the then prevailing career prospects) generally will opt to have pension fixation under the provisions of option No.1. It will work out to hardly 7% of the cases, where Service Books might not be available. As has been pointed out in the last meeting, Gradation/Seniority list is maintained for each Cadre by the Concerned Department, where the date of promotion to the cadre inter alia is indicated. The said gradation list will reveal many other details viz. the date of birth, date of entry into government service, date of promotion to the present cadre, whether eligible for next promotion, date of superannuation etc. This apart there are several other documents maintained by the Department, which will come in handy for verification of the clam, viz, the pay bills, Establishment files containing promotion orders etc. In other words it is possible to verify the claim of any individual pensioner or family pensioner and take appropriate decision. In other words, there is no infeasibility question at all. It was also pointed out by many organisations that the retention period of Service Books in all major Departments of the Government of India is 5 years after the death of the Pensioner/ Family Pensioner and not 3 years after retirement as indicated by the Official side at the meeting. This apart, it may also be noted that the option has to be exercised by the concerned individual pensioner and he has to make a formal application to the concerned authorities. He is bound to substantiate his claim with documentary proof, whatever that is available with him.
As was pointed out by some of us in the last meeting, the non- implementation of an accepted recommendation on the specious plea of infeasibility will pave way for plethora of litigation. Apart from the administrative difficulties, the Pension Department would be saddled with if such litigations arise, it would be sad and cruel on the part of the Government to compel the pensioners to bear huge financial burden to pursue their case before the courts of law.
In view of this the Staff side is of the firm view that the Government issue orders for implementation of Option No. 1 as there is no room for stating that the recommendation is impossible to be implemented for those who are benefited by the said option.
We are aware that certain anomalies are bound to arise on implementation of option No.1 Anomalies have arisen in the past too. What is needed is to examine those anomalies and ensure that those are genuinely addressed.
It may be noted that even under the present dispensation, no two Government servants are entitled for the same pension despite they being retired on superannuation from the same grade on the same day. The promotion in lower cadres especially Group B, C and D had been few and far between a decade back in many departments and continues to be the same situation in certain organisations of the Government of India. The vacancy based promotion system, one must admit , operates in a fortuitous manner. For no fault of the individual employee, he/she may retire without getting a promotion whereas his colleague due to sheer luck might get the promotion at the fag end of the career. The case of those employees who retired prior to the advent of ACP or MACP is really pathetic. They had to remain in certain departments in the same cadres for years together. They are in receipt of a paltry amount of pension though there is nothing distinguishable in their service careers for such deprivation. To deny them the benefit provided by the 7th CPC on the specious plea that the relevant records are not available with the Government may not only be unreasonable but also will not stand the test of judicial scrutiny .
As we have stated in the meeting, the alternative suggestion put forth by the official side is a welcome feature , for it might be a step in the right direction to remove the anomaly pointed out by the Official side when Option No.1 is implemented and will benefit those pensioners who got their promotion at the fag end of their career.. It is also likely to bring about certain extent of parity, if not full, between the old and the present pensioners. However it cannot be in replacement of the recommendation in respect of Option No.1. made by the 7th CPC. The alternate suggestion of the Pension Department may be offered as another option to the pensioners who are not benefited either by Option No. 1 or 2 recommended by the 7th CPC. Such an option will eliminate to a great extent the anomalies that might arise from the implementation of option No. 1.
In fine, we request that:
The Pensioners/family pensioners may be allowed to choose any one of the following three options;
(a) 2.57 time of the present pension if that is beneficial.
(b) Option No. 1. Recommended by the 7th CPC, if that is beneficial for them.
( c). to determine the Pension on the basis of the suggestion placed by the Pension Department on 6.10.2016 i.e. extension of the benefit of pension determination recommended by the 5th CPC (viz. arriving at notional pay in the 7th CPC by applying formula for pay revision for serving employees in each Pay Commission and consequent pension fixation) to all pre-2016 Pensioners/family pensioners, if that becomes beneficial to them.
Copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee set up to examine feasibility of implementation of recommendation of Seventh CPC for revision of pension of Pre-2016 pensioners held on 6.10.2016 at Sardar Patel Bhawan, New Delhi.
The 6" Meeting of the Committee for examination of feasibility of implementation of recommendations of Seventh Central Pay Commission for revision of pension of pre-2016 pensioners was held under the Chairmanship of Shri C. Viswanath, Secretary (Pension) on 6.10.2016 at Sardar Patel Bhawan, New Delhi. This meeting was called for seeking the views of the Staff side of JCM on the feasibility of implementation of the first option for revision of pension of pre 2016 pensioners recommended by the Seventh Central Pay Commission.The following were present from official side:
Sh. Ashok Kumar Dash, Member (Personnel), Department of Posts.
Ms. Santosh, Joint Secretary, Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare,
Sh. Rozy Agarwal, Joint CGDA, Ministry of Defence,
Sh. R.K. Chaturvedi, Joint Secretary, Implementation Cell, Department of Expenditure,
Sh. Sanjay Singh, Chief Controller (Pension), CPAO (representing Controller General of Accounts).
Sh. Tanveer Ahmed, Executive Director, Railway Board (representing Member (Staff)).
The following were present from JCM ( staff side):
Shr i Shiv Gopal Mishra, Secretary, JCM.
Shri Guman Singh, Member
Shri J.R. Bhosale
Shri K.KN. Kutty
Shri C, Shrikumar
Shri R.D. Gupta.
Welcoming the members of the Committee and the representatives of the JCM (Staff Side) Secretary ( Pension ) requested Additional Secretary(Pension) to make a presentation.
In her presentation Addl. Secretary Pension brought out the position regarding the requirement of records and the factors which may affect the feasibility of arriving at the notional pay, in Seventh CPC by counting increments in the last scale of pay as recommended by the Pay Commission. She also mentioned about the anomalies that are likely to arise in the process. The presentation brought out the methodology adopted by the Committee to examine the feasibility of the first option and the finding of the committee in this regard. She mentioned that the service records for increment method may not be available in around 18.3 percentage of the cases. The difficulties in extracting the information from the records and determining the exact number of the increment for revision of pension under first Option were explained. She indicated that the Committee has found that the alternative method of arriving at notional pay in 7th CPC by applying formula for pay revision for serving employees in each pay commission and giving 50% of this as pension to be beneficial for all pensioners in comparison to the fitment method.
Thereafter, Secretary Pension requested the members of the JCM staff side for their views on the feasibility of the first option.
The representatives of the JCM Staff Side mentioned that in their representation to the 7th CPC, they had suggested revision of pension of pre 2006 pensioners by notional pay fixation in each successive pay commission period. However, the Pay Commission recommended the revision of pension by fixing the notional pay on the basis of the increments earned in the last post.
The JCM Staff Side mentioned that the Cabinet has approved revision of pension by the first option(increment method), if its implementation is found feasible after examination by the committee. They mentioned that in additional to the Service book, or personal file, the details of increments earned can be ascertained from the gradation/seniority list issued by the departments from time to time. Therefore, one cannot say that the first option recommended by the Pay Commission is not feasible on the ground of the non availability of records. In regard to the perceived anomalies, the Staff Side stated that anomalies arose in implementation of the recommendations of all previous pay commissions. Such anomalies can always be rectified through the mechanism of Anomaly Committee.
On the alternative method of revision of pension by notional pay fixation in each Pay Commission the staff Side felt that the pensioners who are likely to get higher benefits by increments method may not accept revision of pension by pay fixation method. This may, therefore, lead to litigation.
After detailed discussion, the staff side sought time to consider the alternative method of fixation of notional pay in each intervening pay commission for revision of pension as on 1.1.2016 before submitting their final views in this regard. It was accordingly decided to have another meeting with the JCM staff side on 17.10.2016 at 10.00AM. The meeting ended with a vote of thanks to the Chair.