23. PENSION STRUCTURE FOR PAST PENSIONERS

23.1 Pensioners Associations and individual pensioners have made various and varied submissions to the Commission.

I. Retired Judges’ Association ( West Bengal ) has made a detailed representation, inter alia, stating:

i) To evolve a formula by which inequity is eliminated in case of future revision of pension without limiting to the minimum of notional revised pay or for that matter 50% of such notional pay as actual pension since for all practical purposes the pensioners will be deprived of any increment in such pension except at the minimum level.

ii) To grant a lump sum of Rs.1,000/- p.m. to be credited directly to the pension account of the retiree in the Bank towards day-to-day routine medicines and check-up.

iii) To provide travel concession to the retired judges once a year to travel to any place in India . Such concession should be equivalent to 50% rebate in air or train fare in the first class for the retiree and his dependents irrespective of their age.

This should be taken as a special honour to a judge on his retirement and this benefit is absolutely necessary because the retired judge is not in a position to travel outside with his family.

 

II. A.P. Retired Judicial Officers Association, Hyderabad with Sri D.V. Ramana Murthy as its President, has submitted a memorandum to the Commission to recommend a new Pension formula ensuring the pension of not less than 50% of the minimum pay of the proposed new pay scales for the post irrespective of date of retirement of the officers.

III. Sri T. Gopalakrishna Murthi, Retired District & Sessions Judge from Hyderabad has made a written submission to the Commission seeking several reliefs for himself and for other retirees.

IV. Sri M. Narasimha Reddy, Chief Judge, City Small Causes Court, Hyderabad , has sought the following:

i) Telephone facility upto 500 free calls bi-monthly should be allowed or else the bi-monthly rent of Rs.350/- shall be borne out by the Government.

ii) House sites shall have to be allotted for Judicial Officers for a reasonable price and loans for construction of houses; and

iii) L.T.C. once in a year within the State and L.T.C. once in two years to any place in India may be provided.

V. Sri A.V. Koteswara Rao, Former Secretary to Government & Retired District Judge from Andhra Pradesh in his Memorandum has emphasised among others, the following:

i) Restoration of Commuted Pension after (9) years.

ii) Family Pension in the event of unfortunate death of the pensioner shall be given to his surviving wife to the extent of the entire amount of pension without reduction beyond the period of 7 years till her demise.

 

VI. Some of the Retired Judicial Officers have made several representations urging to remove the anomaly in the existing pension structure and fixing new rates or scales of pension.

They also seek a fixed sum of medical expenses, telephone facility concession of 500 free calls, travel concessions and minimum family pension etc. Further, they want preference to be given to the pensioners/ family of the pensioners regarding beds in Government Hospitals, with benefits to the mentally retarded children of the pensioners. They have suggested to recommend pioneering scheme of family security/welfare/benefit fund to the families of the pensioners by deducting certain amount from their pension including payment of bonus to pensioners on par with the Government employees.

VII. Sri N. Haridas, District Judge (Rtd.) from Thiruvananthapuram has complained against the attitude of the State Government of Kerala ordering that the Pension arrears and other retirement benefits due to the retiring persons are to be paid in eight ‘half yearly’ instalments, running through a period of four years. He has stated that this method of payment is most unethical and unusual, since it deprives the retiring employees ‘plan and hope’ of utilising such amount for purposes like building a house, meeting daughters’ marriage expenses etc. He wants that all pension arrears due to retired Judicial Officers must be paid in lump sum forthwith.

23.2 Some of the pensioners have pleaded their total helplessness in carrying out the day-to-day work without a home orderly or assistant. They say that they are left high and dry after retirement. Even for paying electricity bill and water bill etc., they have to personally go and stand in queue which they have not done in their life time. Ironically, they have stated that as Judicial Officers, they are made to sit on the elevated Dais but after retirement, they are made to stand in queue with the general public. They have sought atleast a domestic assistant to do their indoor and outdoor work.

23.3 In sum, it has been suggested that the Commission should evolve a uniform scheme for equalisation of pensions of comparable posts with reference to the revised scales of pay, irrespective of the date of retirement, and recomputation of pensions of all pensioners by removal of ceilings put on the maximum pension in each State/UT so that their pensions are broadly comparable to pensions of those retiring on the revised scales of pay. They have thus pleaded for absolute parity among all the pensioners

23.4 It has also been urged that this principle has already been conceded in the case of Judges of Supreme Court, High Courts and also Civilian Employees of Central Government with effect from 1-1-1996.

Medical Facilities :

23.5 The need for medical care and attention increases with advancement of age. The Government of India has extended CGHS facilities to pensioners, wherever such scheme is available, provided they pay the same quantum of contribution as paid by the serving employees.

23.6 Very recently, with effect from 1-12-1997, Government of India have granted a fixed medical allowance of Rs.100/- per month to pensioners in areas not covered by CGHS for meeting the expenditure on day-to-day medical treatment where it does not require hospitalisation. This system of providing some fixed allowance to pensioners also exists in some States.

 

23.7 We have received a number of suggestions for coverage and extension of medical facilities to the pensioners. They may be summarised as under:-

1) The same medical facilities for pensioners and their family members on par with serving officers.

2) Some fixed monthly medical allowance;

3) Some kind of comprehensive medical insurance for the pensioners.

4) Provision for issue of medical cards to the retired officers to be honoured by all Govt. hospitals and Private Nursing Homes and expenses incurred should be met by the respective Governments;

5) Provision for medical facilities on line of the Judges of the High Court/Supreme Court .

6) Provision for a medical insurance wherein 50% of the contribution has to be made by the pensioners and the balance 50% by the respective State Governments.

23.8 Before we consider the demands of the pensioners, it may be useful to refer to the recommendation of the V CPC as to parity of pension to all pensioners. It has stated:

"137.13. While it is desirable to grant complete parity in pension to all past pensioners irrespective of the date of their retirement, this may not be feasible straightaway as the financial implications would be considerable. The process of bridging the gap in pension of past pensioners has already been set in motion by the Fourth CPC when past pensioners were granted additional relief in addition to consolidation of their pension. This process of attainment of reasonable parity needs to be continued so as to achieve complete parity over a period of time.

"137.14. As a follow-up of our basic objective parity, we would recommend that the pension of all the pre-1986 retirees may be updated by notional fixation of their pay as on 1-1-1986 by adopting the same formula as for the serving employees. This step would bring all the past pensioners to a common platform or on to the Fourth CPC pay scales as on 1-1-1986. Thereafter, all the pensioners who have been brought on to the Fourth CPC pay scales by notional fixation of their pay and those who have retired on or after 1-1-1986 can be treated alike in regard to consolidation of their pension as on 1-1-1996 by allowing the same fitment weightage as may be allowed to the serving employees. However, the consolidated pension shall be not less than 50% of the minimum pay of the post, as revised by Fifth CPC, held by the pensioner at the time of retirement. This consolidated amount of pension should be the basis for grant of dearness relief in future. The additions to pension as a result of our recommendations in this chapter shall not, however, qualify for any additional commutation for existing pensioners."

23.9 The Central Government has accepted the above recommendation for the Central Government Employees with effect from 1-1-1996 vide Government of India O.M.No.F.45/86/97-P&PW(A) – Part –II dated 27-10-1997 issued by the Additional Secretary (Pension), Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, New Delhi. Hereto annexed a copy of the said Government order.

23.10 As a first step, the Commission in its Interim Report dated31-1-1998 granted Interim Relief at a uniform rate of 40% of the basic pension with effect from 1-7-1996 to all pensioners who retired prior to 1-7-1996. The Commission intended that to be a provisional measure pending finalisation of the Report with the determination of a uniform salary structure to Judicial Officers throughout the country.

23.11 In this interregnum, the Central Government and certain State Governments have revised the pay scales of their employees and also pensionary benefits. The State Governments have, however, fixed a ceiling on maximum pension for their employees depending upon the maximum pay allowed to them.

23.12 We are not unaware of the plight of some of the Retried Judicial Officers. We are, indeed, sympathetic to them and their family members. All of a sudden, upon retirement, they would be fish out of water. They have to maintain atleast some semblance of status in society as retired Judicial Officers.

23.13 We are also conscious of the fact that the Judicial Officers after retirement cannot engage themselves in any gainful employment except to revert to the Bar. But the age is against them. There is no enough stamina left with them in that age to run from pillar to post apart from the difficulty to reactivate the art of submission in the court.

23.14 But we cannot afford to be too generous at the cost of the public. We do not think that it is appropriate to allow L.T.C. to retirees. In fact, we have suggested at one stage that the Judicial Officers should be allowed to carry forward their entitlement of L.T.C to be utilised after retirement. But the proposal has been opposed by the serving Judicial Officers. Therefore, we cannot allow any L.T.C. to retirees.

23.15 We are also not inclined to provide them any free telephone calls.

23.16 We have elsewhere rejected a similar request from others for restoration of Commuted Pension before 15 years.

23.17 We however, consider that a provision for ‘domestic help’ must be provided. 

23.18 OUR RECOMMENDATIONS :

1. The Revised Pension of the Retired Judicial Officers should be 50% of the minimum pay of the post held at the time of retirement, as revised from time to time.

2. There should not be any ceiling limit on the maximum pension payable.

3. The Pensioners should be given the benefit of full neutralisation of the cost of living in the same scale as is being extended to the serving Judicial Officers.

4. A cash payment of Rs.1,250/- per month as ‘ Domestic Help Allowance’ to every retired Judicial Officer, which would be paid upon producing a certificate to that effect.

5. All retired Judicial Officers should be given a fixed monthly medical allowance of Rs.100/- to meet day-to-day medical expenses.

6. All the medical facilities that we have recommended to serving Judicial Officers with regard to treatment and reimbursement of expenditure etc., be made applicable to retirees.

23.19 We may, however, state that medical reimbursement bills submitted by the retired Judicial Officers should be processed and paid by the office of the Principal District Judge of the place where the retiree has opted to settle.

 

* * * * *

 

ANNEXURE

F.No.45/96/97. P&PW(A)-Part II

Government of India

Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare

New Delhi , Dated 27th October 1997.

OFFICE MEMORANDUM

Subject: Implementation of Government’s decision on the recommendations of the Fifth Central Pay Commission – Revision of Pension of pre-1996 pensioners/Family pensioners etc.

* * * * *

The undersigned is directed to say that in pursuance of Government’s decision on the recommendations of Fifth Central Pay Commission, sanction of the President is hereby accorded to the regulation, with effect from 1.1.996, pension/family pension of all the pre-1996 pensioners/family pensioners in the manner indicated in the succeeding paragraphs.

2.1 These orders apply to all pensioners/family pensioners who were drawing pension/family pension on 1.1.996 under the Central Civil Services (Pension Rules), 1972, CCS (Extraordinary Pension) Rules and the corresponding rules applicable to Railway Pensioner and Pensioners of All India Services including officers of the Indian Civil Service retired from service on or after 1.1.1973.

2.2 Separate orders will be issued by the Ministry of Defence in regard to Armed Forces pensioners/family pensioners.

2.3 These orders do not also apply to retired High Court and Supreme Court Judges and other Constitutional/Statutory Authorities whose pension etc. is governed by separate rules/orders.

3.1 In these orders:

(a) ‘Existing Pensioner’ or ‘Existing Family Pensioner’ means a pensioner who was drawing/entitled to pension/family pension on 31.12.1995.

(b) ‘Existing Pension’ means the basic pension inclusive of commuted portion, if any, due on 31.12.1995. It covers all classes of pension under the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 as also Disability Pension under the CCS(Extraordinary Pension) Rules and the corresponding rules applicable to Railway employees and Members of All India Services.

(c) ‘Existing family pension’ means the basic family pension drawn on 31.12.1995 under the CCS(Pension) Rules and the corresponding rules applicable to Railway employees and Members of All India Services.

(d) ‘Existing Dearness Relief’ means the relief due to pensioners/family pensioners upto average CPI 1510.

4.1. The pension/family pension of existing pre-1996 pensioners/family pensioners will be consolidated with effect from 1.1.1996 by adding together:-

i) The existing pension/family pension.

ii) Dearness Relief upto CPI 1510 i.e., @ 148%, 111% and 96% of Basic Pension as admissible vide this Department’s O.M.No.42/8/96-P&PW(G) dated 20.3.1996.

iii) Interim Relief I

iv) Interim Relief II

v) Fitment weightage @ 40% of the existing pension/family pension.

The amount so arrived at will be regarded as consolidated pension/family pension with effect from 1.1.1996. The upper ceiling on pension/family pension laid down in the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare Office Memorandum No.2/1/87/PIC.II dated 14.4.1987 has been increased from Rs.4500/- and Rs.1250/- to 50% and 30% respectively of the highest pay in the Government ( The highest pay in the Government is Rs.30,000/- since 1.1.1996). Since the consolidated pension will be inclusive of commuted portion of pension, if any, the commuted portion will be deducted from the said amount while making monthly disbursements.

4.2 Some of the existing pensioners who retired between 31.3.1985 and 31.12.1985 are in receipt of personal pension. The said personal pension will continue to be granted as a separate element and will not be merged into the pension as consolidated above.

4.3 Since the consolidated pension/family pension arrived at as per paragraph 4.1 includes dearness relief upto average index level 1510, dearness relief will be admissible thereon only beyond index average 1510 in accordance with the revised scheme of dearness relief for which orders are being issued separately. The two instalments of dearness relief sanctioned earlier from 1.7.1996 and 1.1.1997 in this Department’s Office Memorandum No. 42(8)/P &PW(G)/96 dated the 12th September 1996 and Office Memorandum No.42(2)P&PW(G)97 dated the 3rd April 1997 respectively shall be adjusted against revised Dearness Relief becoming due on the consolidated pension/family pension.

4.4 The amount already paid on account of Interim Relief sanctioned vide this Department’s Office Memorandum No.42/18/95 P & PW(G) Vol.II dated 6.9.1996 will be recovered from the arrears becoming due on consolidation of pension/family pension as in para 4.1above and sanction of Dearness Relief on consolidated pension/family pension.

 

5.1 Where the consolidated pension/family pension in terms of paragraph 4 above works out to an amount less than Rs.1275/- the same shall be stepped upto Rs.1275/-. This will be regarded as pension/family pension with effect from 1.1.1996. In the case of pensioners who are in receipt of more than one pension, the floor ceiling of Rs.1275/- will apply to the total of all pensions taken together.

5.2. Where the disability pension under the CCS (EOP) Rules is drawn in addition to invalid pension under the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, the minimum limit of Rs.1275/- will apply to total of two pensions as indicated in paragraph 5.1. Where the disability pension is drawn in isolation, the minimum limit of Rs.1275/- will apply to 100% disability. For lesser degree of disability the minimum limit will be proportionately less.

6. The employed/re-employed pensioners/family pensioners are not getting dearness relief on pension at present under the extant orders, In their case, the notional dearness relief which would have been admissible to them but for their employment/re-employment will be taken into account for consolidation of their pension in terms of paragraph 4.1. above as if they were drawing the dearness relief. Their pay will be re-fixed w.e.f. 1.1.96 with reference to consolidated pension becoming admissible to them. Dearness relief beyond 1.1.1996 will, however, not be admissible to them during the period of employment/re-employment.

7. The cases of Central Government employees who have been permanently absorbed in public sector undertakings/autonomous bodies will be regulated as follows:-

a) PENSION

Where the Government servants on permanent absorption in public sector undertakings/autonomous bodies continue to draw pension separately from the Government, the pension of such absorbees will be updated in terms of these orders. In cases where the Government servants have drawn one time lumpsum terminal benefits equal to 100% of their pensions and have become entitled to the restoration of one-third commuted portion of pension as per Supreme Court Judgement dated 15.12.1995, their cases will not be covered by these orders.

b) FAMILY PENSION

In cases where, on permanent absorption in public sector undertaking/autonomous bodies, the terms of absorption permit grant of family pension under the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 or the corresponding rules applicable to Railway employees/members of All India Services, the family pension being drawn by family pensioners will be updated in accordance with these orders.

8. All Pension disbursing authorities including Public Sector Banks handling disbursement of pension to the Central Government pensioners are hereby authorised to pay pension/family pension to existing pensioners/family pensioners at the consolidated rates without any further authorisation from the concerned Accounts Officers/Head Office etc. A table indicating the existing pension, the consolidated pension and difference payable from 1.1.1996 is enclosed for ready reference, (Annexure I). This table may be used where the pensioner is in receipt of a single pension only. Where a pensioner is in receipt of more than one pension, consolidation may be done separately in terms of paragraph 4.1. and as indicated in paragraph 5 floor ceiling of Rs.1275/- may be applied to total pension from all sources taken together. A suitable entry regarding the revised consolidated pension shall be recorded by the pension Disbursing Authorities in both halves of the Pension Payment Order. An intimation regarding disbursement of revised pension may be sent by the pension disbursing authorities to the Office of CPAO and Accounts Officer which had issued the PPO in the form given at Annexure-II so that the latter can update the Pension Payment Order Register maintained by him. An acknowledgement shall be obtained by the Pension Disbursing Authorities from Office of CPAO and the respective Accounts Officers in this behalf.

9.1 The consolidated pension/family pension as worked out in accordance with provisions of Para 4.1 above shall be treated as final ‘Basic Pension’ with effect from 1.1.1996 and shall qualify for grant of Dearness Relief sanctioned thereafter in respect of following categories of pensioners/family pensioners:-

i) Pensioners who retired between the period from 1.1.1986 to 31.12.1995.

ii) Family pensioners, who became entitled for family pension during the period from 1.1.1986 to 31.12.1995 and were sanctioned family pension at 30% of the last pay drawn by the deceased employee.

9.2 In case of other pensio0ners/family pensioners, these orders provide for revision/consolidation of pension with effect from 1.1.1996 as an interim measure only so as to provide them immediate relief and shall be subject to variation. Detailed instructions regarding fixation of their pay on notional basis /revision/consolidation of pension/family pension and issue of authorisation in this regard will be issued separately. Pending issue of detailed instructions as stated above, grant of pension/family pension to all these pensioners/family pensioners may be continued to be regulated under these orders.

10. The arrears on account of consolidation of pension would be paid in cash with the stipulation that where amount of arrears is less than Rs. 5,000/-, it should be paid in one instalment and where it is in excess of Rs.5,000/- it should be paid in two instalments, in the first instalment, payment should be restricted to Rs.5,000/- plus fifty percent of their balance amount of arrears.

11. It is considered desirable that the benefit of these orders should reach the pensioners as expeditiously as possible. To achieve this objective, it is desired that all pension disbursing Authorities should ensure that the revised pension and the first instalment of arrears due to the pensioners in terms of the above orders is paid to the pensioners or credited to their account by 30th Novemnber, 1997 or before positively. Instructions regarding release of second instalment of arrears will be issued later.

12. In their application to the persons belonging to Indian Audit and Accounts Department these orders issue in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General of India .

13. Ministry of Agriculture etc. are requested to bring the contents of these Orders to the Notice of Controller of Accounts / Pay and Accounts Officers and Attached and subordinate Offices under them on a top priority basis. All Pension disbursing offices are also advised to prominently display these orders on their notice boards for the benefit of pensioners

Sd/-

(S. LAKSHMINARAYANAN)

Additional Secretary (Pension)

To

All Ministries/Departments of Government of India

F.No.45/86/97-P PW(A)-Pt.II dated 27-10-1997

Copy to:-

(As per list attached)