For the Armed Forces the Sixth Pay Central Commission (CPC) has offered a liberal package of post retirement benefits. While only a few demands have not been found reasonable on the ground that the benefits sought would automatically flow in the revised pay structure, a number of modifications have been made in favour of the personnel to make the package attractive. Commission has not agreed to the demand for one rank one pay and suggested that the scheme approved by Fifth CPC may continue with two categories of pensioners i.e. pre and post 1/1/86 pensioners who have full parity and pre and post 1/1/96 pensioners who have a partial parity in pension structure.
Under the existing system the Commissioned Officers in the Army are entitled for pension on completing 20 years of qualifying service which at a rate which is 50% of the average of last 10 months’ emoluments subject to the condition that full pension is payable on completion of 33 yrs of service. There was also a special benefit of weightage of 3-9 yrs (5yrs for civilians) if the qualifying service was less than 20 years in order to make up for truncated service which is a common feature due to causalities inflicted during action. Recommendation of the Sixth CPC is for removing the condition of 33 years of service for qualifying for full pension. Pension would be calculated on last pay drawn or average emoluments whichever is higher. Military Service Pay would also be counted for calculation of Pension . This gesture would also take care of other demands including that of fixing the pension at highest stage of scale of pay attached to post.
Upper limit for commutation of pension all categories would be 50% and pensioners would be entitled for restoration of commuted value after 15 years.
For second pension the demand for reducing qualifying service (from 15 to 10 years) in respect of ex servicemen employed in Defence Service Corps has not been found justified since Defence Personnel with easier integration into Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs) have a longer work tenure nowadays and need for such benefits is not felt.
The benefits given to officers would also be extended to Personnel Below Officer’s Ranks (PBORs). For PBORs revised benefits would be admissible from 1/1/2006. Classification pay would also be taken into account for pension purposes. For PBORs the limit for qualifying service in respect of pensions shall continue as 15 years .The Report suggests that the increase in pension for Group X is expected to be between Rs 2016/- to Rs. 4245 /- and for Group Y pension is to expected increase can be from Rs.1247/- to 3392/-
While considering the demands for increase of pensionary benefits to Havaldars getting Honorary ranks of Naik Subedar it is proposed to consider it as regular promotion to higher grade and give all consequential financial benefit for calculation of pension.
The family pension is also recommended for cases of casualty during trial of weapons and ammunitions. For family pensioners other major changes proposed relate to permitting lifelong admissibility to unmarried daughters (instead of existing provision of pension up to 25 years of age) and also the recommendation that family pension at enhanced rates should be payable up to 10 years (instead of existing limit of 7 years) for personnel dying in harness .
For the case of army personnel who are liable for disability pension or war injury pension the proposals tends to make substantial changes in the quantum of compensation. The rate of disability pension is proposed @ 30% of the basic pay and would be doubled to (60%) if the injury is acquired in a war or war like situation. Commission has also suggested removal of conditions of qualifying service now applicable for retirement cases where disability is not related to service matters. The disability component of pension in all “ attributable” cases ( cases of disability due to service related matters) is also recommended for cases where disability is less than 20%.
Ex servicemen having acquired 100% disability are given constant attendance allowance for engaging attendants throughout their lifetime. Commission has proposed that this may be increased to Rs.3000/- per month instead of existing Rs.600/-.This is a dynamic pay package subject to increase @ 25% whenever the DA payable on revised scales goes up by 50%.
Last major recommendation concerns increase in the rates of exgratia payable to to families of armed forces personnel who die in harness. Recommendations propose doubling of rates for all eventualities. For death in course of duty the quantum proposed is Rs. 10 Lakhs (existing Rs. 5 Lakhs).For causalities in enemy action and international war the amounts proposed are Rs.15 /20 Lakhs ( against existing Rs.7.5/10 Lakhs).
Next Post: Central Services