‘One Rank One Pension’: Why the BJP supports Ex-Servicemen’s demand
1. The ‘One Rank One Pension’ issue has been raised before both the V and VI pay commissions.
2. The issue is about the considerable disparity in pension between pensioners that retired pre 1996, between 1996-2006 and post 2006.
3. The tying up of pensions with the last drawn pay is applied universally to both civilian and defence personnel.
4. Since the pay scales were revised by the V and VI pay commissions, the tie up with the last drawn pay had widened the disparity in pensions (as referred in the note)
5. But for the senior officers in both the Officers cadre (e.g. Lt. General) and PBOR (Personnel Below Officers Rank) cadre (e.g. Honorary Captain), the pensions are based on rank and not on the last drawn pay.
6. The V pay commission, in 1996, has recommended parity in pension between pre and post 1986 pensioners. This was a follow up to the KP Singh Deo report in 1984 and a One Time Increase in 1992 towards bringing parity in pensions. But the V pay commission’s recommendations on the pension of ‘post 1996’ retirees, was still tied to the last drawn pay.
7. The V pay commission has also made provisions for neutralization of price rise.
8. The VI pay commission has given a ‘fitment benefit’ to all retired employees, both civilian and defense, to partially compensate for the disparities in the pre 2006 and post 2006 retirees.
9. Also in order to compensate for the reduced employment of defence personnel period a ‘year weightage’ is included in calculation of benefits.
10. Due to the widening disparity, the note asks for pay to be not tied to the last drawn pay but to the rank thereby making all future increases applicable to existing pensioners also.
11. It is a highly emotive issue, since the soldiers retain their titles post retirement and the financial benefits accruing to them is determined by the retirement date.
12. Fiscal outlay for implementing the ‘One Rank One Pension’ is going to be modest — only in the order of Rs.1500 crores.
Considering the fact that the soldiers serve the best years of their lives in defense of the country in life threatening environments and retiring early, the ‘One Rank One Pension’ demand deserves to be implemented in an expedient way to honor our soldiers. A future BJP-led government, if elected, will implement this demand without any delay.