The Centre’s decision to provide One Rank, One Pension (OROP) benefits to all civilian employees has been widely praised as this is the first time civilian employees will take benefit of the scheme earlier reserved for military personnel.
The pay panel in its report has recommended the OROP arrangement in a bid to bring parity of pensions between old pensioners and recent retirees who retired from service before 1 January 2016, but with the same length of service. “The move is set to increase salary structures and pensions. We welcome it as it brings parity in a system. The open metric employed to calculate the salary and pensions this time does away with the previously unpopular grade pay system,” said Jugal Kishore, a septuagenarian retired gazetted officer who worked in the Finance Ministry. The Seventh Pay Commission has recommended a 14.27% raise in the basic pay of employees. This is ironically the lowest hike ever recommended by any of the seven pay commissions till date. Wing Commander (retd) R.K. Prasad said, “Past pensioners’ pay was recommended to be fixed in the pay matrix proposed by the Commission on the basis of pay band and grade pay at which they retired. This amount was then to be raised to the notional pay of retirees which would be arrived at by adding increments at 3% rate. In the case of defence personnel, this amount includes military service pay as well. I get a pension of Rs 50,000 after serving for over 20 years. So there is a big disparity which needs to be removed across the board irrespective of you being a civilian employee or a defence personnel.” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the recommendations will be implemented from 1 January 2016.