There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel finally for scores of retired bank employees.
The long pending demand for revision of pension has finally come up for positive examination by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).
From 1986, pension for retired bank employees has not been revised as there is no practice of periodical revision of pension along with the Pay Commission’s review of pay scales being followed in the case of government employees.
There has also been no increase in the quantum of pension payable to family members after the death of a serving or retired employee.
However, the United Federation of Bank Unions (UFBU) has been able to break the ice in these matters in its talks with the IBA team held a couple of days ago.
“The IBA has agreed to examine these issues and is sympathetic. It has called for details of the number of present pensioners, and family pensioners, from banks,” CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA, who represented UFBU along with its convener MV Murali and others, told Business Line .
A request for calculating uniform DA rate for those who retired prior to 2002 is also being taken up. After 2002, employees/pensioners get 100 per cent compensation when prices go up. “Prior to that, we have been tapering the DA formula. So, we want the same uniform formula on DA for those retired employees also,” he said.
The employee body has also asked the IBA to expedite the cost calculation as the demands have been pending for quite a long time and the retired employees being aged, need to be considered with sympathy and without undue delay.
The IBA has assured the union to expedite work in this regard.
According to M Harshavardhan, Advisor, All India Bank Officers’ Federation, revision of pension and its regular updation will not cause ‘undue’ financial burden on banks as has been projected. “Banks are very much capable of bearing additional expenses to be incurred on account of revision in pension rate,” he said.
The IBA has also agreed to take up with bank managements the problems faced in reimbursement of health care costs/health insurance issues.
There is no consolidated data on the number of pensioners and the IBA is in the process of arriving at a figure shortly. There are about 11.50 lakh bank employees today with almost 50 per cent of them in clerical jobs. The number of retirements has gone up by 2-4 per cent in the last five years and the trend is expected to continue for the next three to four years.
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