Military & Aerospace

One Rank One Pension Scheme for Ex-Servicemen
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 05 Sep , 2015

The Government has announced the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for the Ex-Servicemen. This was announced by the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on 05-September-2015. The following is the statement of the Defence Minister:

…to implement OROP, the estimated cost to the exchequer would be Rs. 8,000 to 10,000 crore at present, and will increase further in future.

“Government of India respects its Defence Forces and Ex-Servicemen for their valour, patriotism and sacrifices. The Government is proud of their devotion to duty and bravery. Our forces, besides vigilantly and gallantly defending the nation, have displayed exemplary standards of courage and bravery in natural calamities, law and order situations and other difficult circumstances.

The issue of “One Rank One Pension” (OROP) has been pending for nearly four decades. It is a matter of deep anguish that the various governments remained ambivalent on the issue of OROP. In February 2014, the then Government stated that OROP would be implemented in 2014-15, but did not specify what OROP would be, how it would be implemented or how much it would cost. An estimated Rs. 500 crore provided for OROP in the budget presented in February 2014 by the then government was not based on any thorough analysis. It is pertinent to mention that the then Minister of State for Defence in 2009 had, in reply to a question, informed Parliament that there are administrative, technical and financial difficulties in implementing OROP. It is for these reasons that the present government took some time to fulfil its promise.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, on various occasions, reiterated the Government’s commitment to implement OROP for Ex-Servicemen under military pension. As stated above, the previous government has estimated that OROP would be implemented with a budget provision of a mere Rs. 500 crore. The reality, however, is that to implement OROP, the estimated cost to the exchequer would be Rs. 8,000 to 10,000 crore at present, and will increase further in future.

Personnel who voluntarily retire will not be covered under the OROP scheme.

The Government held extensive consultations with experts and Ex-Servicemen. The main argument for OROP is that the Defence personnel retire early and thus are not able to get the benefits of serving till normal retirement age. Despite the huge fiscal burden, given its commitment to the welfare of Ex-Servicemen, the Government has taken a decision to implement the OROP.

In simple terms, OROP implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of their date of retirement. Future enhancements in the rates of pension would be automatically passed on to the past pensioners. This implies bridging the gap between the rate of pension of current and past pensioners at periodic intervals.

Under this definition, it has been decided that the gap between rate of pension of current pensioners and past pensioners will be bridged every 5 years.

Under the OROP Scheme:

  • The benefit will be given with effect from 1st July, 2014. The present government assumed office on 26th May, 2014 and therefore, it has been decided to make the scheme effective from a date immediately after.
  • Arrears will be paid in four half-yearly instalments. All widows, including war widows, will be paid arrears in one instalment.

…One Member Judicial Committee would be constituted which will give its report in six months.

  • To begin with, OROP would be fixed on the basis of calendar year 2013.
  • Pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners retiring in the same rank and with the same length of service as the average of minimum and maximum pension in 2013. Those drawing pensions above the average will be protected.
  • Personnel who voluntarily retire will not be covered under the OROP scheme.
  • In future, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 years.

It is estimated that the expenditure on arrears alone would be ten to twelve thousand crores of rupees. Apart from the fact that the previous government had provided for only Rs. 500 crore in the budget, it is noteworthy that the Koshiyari Committee had accepted the estimate of Rs. 235 crore as additional financial burden to implement OROP. The present government has accepted OROP in true spirit without being constrained by these inaccurate estimates.

OROP is a complex issue. A thorough examination of interests of retirees of different periods and different ranks is needed. The inter-service issues of the three Forces also require consideration. This is not an administrative matter alone. Therefore, it has also been decided that a One Member Judicial Committee would be constituted which will give its report in six months.

Prime Minister Modi has fulfilled his commitment and approved OROP for Armed Forces personnel. Ministry of Defence will soon issue detailed Government Order.”

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2 thoughts on “One Rank One Pension Scheme for Ex-Servicemen

  1. dear defence minister, may I suggest that instead of applying your mind to minute intricacies on OROP, you just accept the principle existing in India till 1973 – that of similar pension rules for all government servants – both civil and military. ? Since Goi has been applying indexed pensions for all civil servants it should not be difficult to apply same principles to forces pensioners. No need for one member judicial commission, or working out mean averages for each rank. Simple. Saral. Fair. Just.

  2. Satbir and gang should tell the truth about VRS. Satbir now I tell you what you should say. You went to the MoD and met an official with your delegation. Everything was discussed and it was decided that the Defence Minister alongwith three Chiefs will roll out the OROP. You said that you wanted a graceful exit from Jantar-Mantar and your agitation must be seen as successful. Accordingly, it was decided to add an innocuous term VRS. You said that after the press conference you will raise objection on the issue and by night you would ask for another meeting, and then claim victory for the OROP. That is why after the press conference you all started feedings sweets to each other at Jantar-Mantar.

    When some people contacted you on VRS, you chillingly said: “Oh! Don’t worry it’s a minor problem and will be sorted out by tonight”. But the political class turned out smarter. Mr Modi next day took a Metro ride and had arranged for some senior faujis in medals and caps. In a public rally from the dais he spent good two minutes to dispel the doubts about VRS. He went to the extent of saying that if anybody deserves OROP the most it is the people who have gone on PMR (Pre-Mature Retirement), as they help the armed forces to remain young. When he announced this, I rang up your people and they were so incensed that why Modi did not follow the script and let Satbir announce it.

    So now you are riding another campaign of falsehood because your game is up. Satbir, 46% of the people, i.e. beneficiaries of OROP are PMRs. So how does the figure then come to 8,000 to 10,000 crores. Without the PMR, it should be 4,000 to 5,000 crores. So stop fooling the people at the behest of AAP and the ISI. Narcotics money cannot keep your afloat forever.

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