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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Updating of Pension in Banks, RBI and LIC - Some Retrospections & Some Introspections


BANKS

The pay of bank employees who had retired between 01-11-1986 and 31-10-1987 and opted for pension was updated effective from 01-11-1987 and their basic pension and additional pension updated as provided in Regulation 35 of the Bank Employees' Pension Regulations, 1995. There has not been any subsequent pension updation in banks.

The bank pensioners retired in November, 2002 pay scales have been getting 100 % neutralisation in DR from Feb. 2005. Those retired in subsequent wage revisions in November, 2007 and 2012 get 100% DR. But, the pensioners retired in 1987, 1992 and 1997 pay scales continue to get DR on tapering basis.

Family pensioners are getting a meagre sum of pension. They are not getting 30% of the last basic pay, and other allowances reckoned for pension like GOI or RBI family pensioners. There are positive developments, but extremely slow, since last nine months. The bank pensioners and family pensioners are entertaining strong hopes of getting 100% DR to pre 2002 pensioners, updating of pension and family pension in a few months from now.
RBI 

The pay of RBI employees who had retired between 01-01-1986 and 31-10-1987 and opted for pension was updated effective from 01-11-1987. The pension of pensioners who retired in the pay scales 1987 and 1992 were updated as per 1st November, 1997 pay scales but from a prospective date during the tenure of Governor, Dr.Bimal Jalan. All the pensioners retired in pre and 1997 pay scales who were getting DR on tapering basis started getting 100% neutralisation in DR from February, 2005.

RBI's decision of updating pension of pre 1997 pay scales pensioners was not found favour with MOF, GOI. They asserted that RBI has no powers to revise pension without seeking government's prior approval. The Centre held that the pension cannot be granted by the Bank without amending pension regulations.

RBI had no alternative but to go with the directions of GOI and withdrew the updation granted with the sanction of the Bank's Board meeting held in August 2008. No recoveries of pension already paid as per 1997 pay scales was effected. Three officers (RBI Retired Employees' Association) moved the Bombay High Court against the RBI order. The court stayed implementation of the order withdrawing updation already granted to pre-1997 retirees. But, subsequently, no updation in pension has been given to the RBI pensioners though there have been three more wage revisions effective from 1st November, 2002, 2007 and 2012. The family pensioners of RBI have started getting 30% of the pay fixed for pension on certain norms from January, 2013. It is not 30% of the 'updated pension with weightage' but updated with reference to notionally updated pension of the pensioners at the 2007 - DR merger point vis a vis earlier merger points of previous wage revisions. This administratively helped RBI to compute DR at uniform percentage applicable to working employees. RBI employees have started getting full pension from Jan.2013 after putting in 20 years of qualifying service as against 33 years of service required earlier, subject to other conditions. This change of granting full pension after 20 years of qualifying service has been there in GOI since 01-01-2006, as per 6th CPC. GOI employees' pension is fixed on the last ten months average or the last pay drawn, whichever is more beneficial. The GOI defence pensioners have been given OROP from 01-06-2014. As per 7th CPC recommendations all the pensioners are going to get OROP from 01-01-2016.

RBI pensioners have not been successful to get updation of pension despite united struggle by the leaders and members of both the RBI Retired Employees' Association and all the four serving employees associations.
LIC

Hon.Justice Shri Dipak Misra has ordered 40% IR to the similarly placed pensioners - pre Aug. 1997 pensioners and family pensioners as contemplated in 3A of Appendix IV. He has directed much more (Sec. 48 of Act etc) to be adjudged by Delhi High Court by 31-08-2016. Pensioners keep their hands folded before the Almighty.


Hon. Justice M.N.Bhandari of Jaipur HC had heard and dealt with Nakara and related cases at great length and delivered the judgement in favour pensioners, to give DR at the same rate as applicable to the serving employees and 100% neutralisation in DR to all, at 0.23% as from 01-08-1997, with weight age. LIC could have acted on the judgement four / five years back.

It was I.R. 20% in May, 2015 and 40% in March, 2016 and LIC would comply with the order as it is from the S.C. A point to ponder. Hon. Justice Shri Misra is appreciative of Nakara case and knows it had already been duly considered by Hon. Justice Shri Bhandari . It is a fact that Shri Bhandari had examined the hostile discrimination in pension drawn by the pensioners retired on different dates, in different pay scales, with different rates applied to neutralise cost index / increased cost of living since 1987. May be on account of this reason, the Delhi and the P&H.H.C. Judges relied fully on Jaipur H.C. judgement. It would have been great (beautiful) if the Hon. Justice Shri. Misra had ordered 40% IR to all pensioners, pre and post Aug.1997 based on different DR rates viz.DR @ of 0.23%, @ of 0.18%, 0.15% and 0.10%. It would have been the ideal step to alleviate the grievances of all, all put on the same pedestal. In the absence of this kind of judgement, our leaders have to do much more at Delhi H.C. than what has been stated or implied in the S.C. judgement 31-03-2016. In short, Article 14, 16 , 21 of the Constitution of India should be guiding stars as repeatedly said by S/S.CHM, ASR etc.

A matter of fact consideration - Sec. 48 of LIC Act, 1956.

Sec. 48 of LIC Act, 1956 is almost similar or parallel to Sec. 58 of RBI Act, 1934. Even Sec.19 of the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Understandings) Act, 1970 have similar conditions. 

Some of the paragraphs relevant to service conditions of employees are reproduced below for information and for understanding the legal importance. It is evident that while framing the Acts, RBI or LIC Acts or banks, the GOI has intended to retain its sovereignty and retained its supremacy.

Section 58 in The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
Power of the Central Board to make regulations.—

(1) The Central Board may, with the previous sanction of the Central Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, make regulations consistent with this Act to provide for all matters for which provision is necessary or convenient for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of this Act.

(2) In particular without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision, such regulations may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:

(j) the constitution and management of staff and superannuation funds for the officers and servants of the Bank;

(r) generally, for the efficient conduct of the business of the Bank. Any regulation made under this section shall have effect from such earlier or later date as may be specified in the regu­lation.

(4) Every regulation shall, as soon as may be after it is made by the Central Board, be, forwarded to the Central Government and that Government shall cause a copy of the same to be laid before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the regulation, or both Houses agree that the regulation should not be made, the regulation shall, thereafter, have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that regulation.

Section 48 in The Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956
48. Power to make rules.—

(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the purposes of this Act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:—

(j) the conditions subject to which the Corporation may appoint employees

(l) any other matter which has to be or may be prescribed. 2[(2A) The regulations and other provisions as in force immediately before the commencement of the Life Insurance Corporation (Amendment) Act, 1981, with respect to the terms and conditions of service of employees and agents of the Corporation including those who became employees and agents of the Corporation on the appointed day under this Act, shall be deemed to be rules made under clause (cc) of sub-section (2) and shall, subject to the other provisions of this section, have effect accordingly.

(2B) The power to make rules conferred by clause (cc) of sub-section (2) shall include—

(i) the power to give retrospective effect to such rules;

3[(3) Every rule made by the Central Government under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.

Banking Companies ( Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970

Sec. 19 Power to make regulations .

(1) The Board of Directors of a corresponding new bank may, after consultation with the Reserve Bank and with the previous sanction of the Central Government, make regulations, not inconsistent with the previsions of this Act....(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, the regulations may provide for all or any of the following matters...(only two paras. quoted here) :

d) the conditions or limitation subject to which the corresponding new bank may appoint advisers, officers or other employees and fix their remuneration and other terms and conditions of service;

(f) the establishment and maintenance of superannuation, pension, provident or other funds for the benefit of officers or other employees of the corresponding new bank or of the dependants of such officers or other employees and the granting of superannuation allowances, annuities and pensions payable out of such funds.

It is evident that the Sec.58, Sec.19 and Sec. 48 of RBI, Banks' and LIC acts have been integrated to Employees' (Pension) Regulations / Rules. Hence, it may be all-important to all our leaders deal with Sec. 48 very discreetly.

SN (a 1992 pensioner)
(From Sources)