The honourable Supreme Court has awarded the petitioners a revision of One Rank One Pension (OROP) with effect from July 2019. This is in consonance with the Cabinet decision of 2015 submitted to the Hon’ble Prime Minister for approval under Rule 12 of the Transaction of the Business Rules vide this Department’s OM No. 12 (1)/2014/D (Pen/Pol) (Part II) dated 5.9.2015 to the Cabinet Sectt with the following proposals:
• The benefit will be given from 1.7.2014.
• 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 drawn by the retirees in the year 2013. Those drawing above the average will be protected.
• The benefit would also be extended to family pensioners including war widows and disabled pensioners.
• Personnel who voluntarily retired/retired will not be covered under the OROP scheme.
• Arrears will be paid in four half-yearly instalments. Widows will be paid arrears in one instalment.
• In future the pension would be re-fixed every 5 years.
• OROP is a complex issue. A thorough examination of interest to retirees of different periods and different ranks is needed. The inter-service matters of 3 Forces also require consideration. This is not an administrative matter alone. Therefore, it is proposed that a One Member Judicial Committee may be constituted, which will give its report in 6 months.
The Cabinet Sectt vide its ID No. 144/1/1/2015-Cab dated 7.11.2015 also communicated the approval of the Hon’ble PM to the said proposals as contained in Para 7 with the following modifications:
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.
The proposal is for constituting One Member Judicial Committee; instead the approval is for Judicial Committee.
This article focuses attention on three aspects
Has the formula for calculating Pension of Personnel Below Officers Rank been changed?
• Has the approval of 1997 that pension for Personnel Below Officers rank (PBOR) to be determined as 50% of the highest across the three Services for a given rank, group and years of qualifying service been reversed?
The answer is “Yes” on the basis of Serial No. 2 of the Cabinet’s approval. That effectively nullifies the submission of the Petitioner in its Review Petition which was dismissed after a hearing in chambers.
Will the Revision of OROP be beneficial?
• Will the revision of OROP w.e.f 2019 be financially beneficial?
The answer is a mixed and is the apprehension expressed in the following words, from Ref No. C/7026/VII CPC/84/OROP dated 11 Mar 2019 from Tri Services Pay Staff (TRIPAS), Room No. 116, Kashmir House, on OROP REVISION 2019
• “Reference is made to MoD Dept of DESW letter No. 12(1)/2014/D(Pen/Pol)-Part II dated 07 Nov 2015 (Copy enclosed).
• The salient features of OROP were given in the above mentioned Govt letter. As per para 3(v) of the MoD letter under mention, the first revision of OROP is due on 01 Jul 2019.
• It is pertinent to mention that basis of calculation of pension as per OROP differs from the basis of calculation for pension in 7th CPC. This may have resulted in lower fixation of pension for post 2016 retirees than the one who retired prior to 1.1.2016. It is requested that during the revision of OROP in Jul 2019, pension protection for post 2016 retirees be taken care of.
• In view of the above and to avoid similar situation in future, it is requested that a timeline may be promulgated to review the OROP. The data considered for formulating the revised OROP 2019 for pensioners be shared with Service HQs before finalising the pension tables.
• It is also submitted that recommendations of One Man Judicial Committee be declassified at the earliest as it may have an effect on the revision of OROP.”
This apprehension is more glaring in the case of PBOR than in the cases of Commissioned Officers as per the sample tables furnished by PCDA (P) to the MoD. Some of these tables are re-produced below: –
Ministry may please refer to their above mentioned letter, calling for a comparative table indicating amounts of pension drawn under various Pay Commissions with reference to OROP.
• In this regard it is submitted that calculation has been made, as a representative sample, for two ranks of JCOs/ORs (Havildar and Naib Subedar) and two ranks of Commissioned Officers (Lt Col & Brigadier). The calculation sheet is attached as Annexure A & B for JCOs & Ors and Commissioned Officers respectively.
• It is submitted that since 6th CPC, two revisions have been made for pre-2006 PBOR pensioners i.e. w.e.f. 01.09.2009 (CSC-2009) and 24.09.2012 (CSC-2012) with the intention to bring them at par with current pensioners. In addition, OROP benefits were given w.e.f. 01.07.2014. On analysing the data of post OROP pensioners, it is seen that: –
(a) Out of 668 retirees in the period 01.07.2014 to 31.12.2015 in the rank of Havildar, more than 20% of post OROP retirees are drawing pension less than OROP rate i.e. OROP pension is higher than pension of future retirees.
(b) The difference is more prominent in the rank of Nb. Sub where more than 95% of post-OROP retired Nb. Subedars are drawing less pension than OROP rates.
(c) More than 95% of post 01.01.2016 retirees in the rank of Nb. Sub draw less pension than the revised pension amount of OROP beneficiaries.
• This indicated that a significant proportion of post OROP retirees are getting less pension than past pensioners whose pension has been ameliorated as per OROP.
Accounts Officer (AT-Pen)
Ref: UO No. 5699/AT-P/OROP/Vol-XiX dated 23.08.2018
REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE CALCULATION FOR JCOs/ORs
|Sl No.||Rank||Date||Havildar||Nb. Subedar|
|QS (Term of engagement)||24||26|
|1||Pension in 4th CPC (w.e.f 1.1.1986)||1.1.86||689||1057|
|2||Revision in 5th CPC||1.1.96||2104||3201|
|3||Revision 6th CPC||1.1.2006||5085||7486|
|4||Modified Pay Parity||1.1.2006||5820||8330|
|5||Revision as per CSC – 2009||1.07.2009||6465||10029|
|6||Revision as per CSC – 2012||24.09.2012||7375||10029|
|7||Revision as per OROP||1.07.2014||7808||10405|
|8||Revision in 7th CPC (Col 7 x 2.57)||01.01.2016||20067||28741|
|9||Pension as on 1.1.2016 if OROP not given (Col 6 x 2.57)||01.01.2016||18954||25775|
ANALYSIS OF POST 01.07.2014 RETIREES
|Total No. of pensioners with QS 24 Yrs in Gp Y||Pensioners drawing less than OROP rate||% of pensioners drawing less than OROP||Total No. of pensioners with QS 26 Yrs in Gp Y||Pensioners drawing less than OROP rate||% of pensioners drawing less than OROP|
|1.07.2014 to 31.12.2015||668||134||20.06||463||450||97.19|
|* Majority of Nb Sub who have retired after 2014 are currently drawing less pension than OROP|
REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE CALCULATION FOR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS
|2||Standard Qualifying Service||24||28|
|3||Pay (4th CPC)||Min Pay||Max Pay||Min Pay||Max Pay|
|6||Pension under 5th CPC under consolidation||w.e.f. 1.1.1996||5953 to 7286||7993 to 8105|
|7||Pension under modified parity 5th CPC||w.e.f. 1.1.1996||7093||9550|
|Range||01.01.96||7093 to 7286||9550 to 9550 (?)|
|8||Pension under 6th CPC by multiplication method||w.e.f. 1.1.2006||16032 to 16487||21583|
|9||Pension under Modified Parity||w.e.f. 1.1.2006||26265||29145|
|10||Revision under OROP||w.e.f.1.7.2014||32428||36420|
|11||Revision in 7th CPC (Col 10 x 2.57||w.e.f 1.1.2016||83340||93600|
|12||Revision if he had not been granted OROP (Col 9 x 2.57)||w.e.f.
ANALYSIS OF NON-OROP BENEFICIARIES
|Lt Col *||
|Total No. of pensioners with QS 24 years||Pensioners drawing less than OROP rate||% of pensioners drawing less than OROP||Total No. of pensioners with QS 28 years||Pensioners drawing less than OROP rate||% of pensioners drawing less than OROP|
|1.07.2014 to 31.12.2015||246||232||94.3||97||8||8.25|
|* Majority of Lt Col who have retired after 2014 are currently drawing less pension than OROP|
Fate of Report of One Man Judicial Committee
The Third Aspect that remains unfulfilled is the Report of the One Man Judicial Commission. Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, as Raksha Mantri constituted a 3 member Internal Committee (Shri Ravi Kant, then Joint Secretary Ex-Servicemen Welfare (later Secretary ESW and now superannuated ; Shri R K Karna Addl FADS and Joint Secretary, Def/Fin and Shri Kanwaldeep Singh, Jt CGDA). The Internal Committee was constituted in July 2017 and mandated to submit its report within 2 months. Not so surprisingly, a reply to a RTI application elicited a reply that no record exists of any dates of meetings of this Committee, even when the Central Information Commission intervened on 29 Apr 2021 in Second Appeal No. CIC/DEXSW/A/2019/127359-DODEF. It has now been intimated by Deptt of Ex-Servicemen Welfare that the Internal Committee has reportedly been re-constituted on 10.12.2021. Ironically, the new OM states that all other conditions remain unchanged, which means the IC should have submitted its report to Shri Rajnath Singh latest by March 2022!
[Please note: All information quoted above is based on replies provided by Chief Public Information Officers of Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare of the Ministry of Defence, Govt of India).