Thursday, December 11, 2014

Minimum Guaranteed Pension As Related To The Rank Pay Matter

For some time the matter of the minimum guaranteed pension has been in the news, the latest a recent update being on the Aerial View blog. {Edit: The most recent update is accessible with the link at the bottom of this blog post}.

Briefly, the issue is related to the date of implementation of revised "Minimum Guaranteed Pension" for pre 2006 retirees, which was fixed as 26 24 September 2012 vide Govt. Of India, Ministry of Defence letter number 1(11)/2012-D(Pen/Policy) dated 17 January 2013, a copy of which was circulated with PCDA Circular 500 of the same date.

As stated in the Aerial View blog post, referred to at the first para of this blog post, the litigation for re-fixation of date of implementation as 01 Jan 2006, in place of 26 24 September 2012, is nearing it's final phase, the hearing now being stated to be scheduled on 13 Jan 2015 {Edit 1: Update ; Now awaiting a fresh listing, perhaps in February 2015 Judgement now having been delivered on 17 March 2015}.

The case had to be taken up in the highest court of the land, at great expense and with herculean effort. Therefore it is all the more pertinent, for direct stake-holders and all the others affected, to review some of the attached issues which affect or are impinged upon by the likely positive outcome of the case. To start with, queries begin to form in one's mind as follows:

  • The case apparently, and the word "apparently" is important in this context, is concerned with just the date of implementation of the "Minimum Guaranteed Pension". Since it is a litigation in the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, was it also intended to include the effect on the quantum of "Minimum Guaranteed Pension" as a result of the implementation of the rank pay revisions? Would the tables issued with the GOI letter of 17 Jan 2013 ibid now stand revised?

  • Since the rank pay matter concerns retired Officers of the armed forces, would the litigation also deal with the important and, so far, un-addressed, issues of parity of "Minimum Guaranteed Pensions" of Majors having 21 years of service with the pensions of Lt Col and "Minimum Guaranteed Pension" of Maj and Lt Col with more than 26 years of service with the pension applicable to Col(TS) of equal service?

  • While implementing the Hon'ble Supreme Court judgement on rank pay, GOI, MOD vide letter number 34(6)2012-D(Pay/Services) dated 27 December 2012, had also ordered payment with effect from 01 Jan 2006, of interest on arrears, including those of pension, resulting from the partial implementation of the rank-pay judgement. Would the litigation also aim to obtain a more just and equitable compensation by way of interest for arrears not ascribable to the rank pay case but applicable only to those arising out of the "Minimum Guaranteed Pension" matter? 

Whatever be the scope of this litigation, it's outcome would be of interest to all veterans and yet another reason to feel proud of the direct litigants and the inspiring role of RDOA in coordinating the whole issue. {Edit 2} : The order of Hon'ble Supreme Court, delivered on 17 March 2015, is accessible by following this link.

{Edit 3} For the most recent update, please use the link to the blog Indian Military: Service Benefits And Issues .

{Edit 4} For the connected issue of pension parities between ESMs that retired in years gone by and those who retire in the present, the blog post on 'Variable Retirement Rank' may also be relevant.


  1. I had covered some of these issues in one of my blog posts. The problem is that in the absence of any feedback from RDOA on the status of their initiatives, very little can be done by way of supplementary efforts in harmony with the processes already in progress.

  2. Retirees in rank of Maj with more than 20 years of service and Maj/Lt Col with more than 26 years of service should get justice when payment of arrears from 01 Jan 2006 is now ordered after the recent HSC judgment.

    But it is doubtful justice will be done.