Monday, July 04, 2016

Check Points For 7 CPC Pension "Awards" For Armed Forces Veterans

That implementing recommendations of a pay commission has not taken the customary two to three years, is in itself an achievement of sorts and worthy of praise. How far the implementation will go in justifying the lofty principles enunciated in the text of the 7 CPC recommendations remains to be seen.

We are yet to see the shape of tables and manner of calculations that normally translate the intent of the recommendations into actual delivery of the award. The VI CPC imbroglio over "PB III or PB IV for Lt Cols" Or the "Minimum of Pay In Pay Band" controversy are still fresh in our minds.

Much has been made of the fact how the VII CPC matrices will ensure OROP for civilian pensioners as well as for armed forces veterans. There has been some informed analysis on blogs, chat-rolls or group-mails over pension fixations.

To avoid needless speculation in the absence of factual data, the stress should be on what would be a correct and equitable pension fixation for pensioners. This becomes very crucial in the case of time-bound ranks. Some time ago, I had made an attempt to illustrate the issues involved with the very simple example of pensioners who had retired in the ranks of Major and Lt Colonel.

We do not know how such parities can be or will be accomplished. If at all. Several options do exist and these have been discussed in the past, such as :

  • Establishing parities by endorsing applicable pensions in PPOs.
  • Considering anomalies holistically and jettisoning the discrete approach to basic principles that apply to parity of pensions.
  • Appreciating the need to do away with differential treatment for same class of veterans, whether it is related to OROP or 7 CPC. {Edit: And, retrospectively, even in relation to pensions fixed by 6 CPC}

In this context, I've read several opinions as to how the 7 CPC matrix would need to be applied in the case of older pensioners. Perhaps it would need specific elaboration in the implementation orders as to what index and which level in the matrix would apply to older pensioners keeping in view their qualifying service.

As among Officer veterans, the two time bound ranks of Major and Lt Col are most affected by these disparities, in the absence of any concrete figures at present, veterans in this category can only wait and see how close the actual fixation is to the following desirable "check point".