Thursday, January 26, 2017

Just now, I had a glimpse of your circular No.05/2017 dated 25.01.2017 regarding the yeoman service of AIBOC to the community of retired bank officers/employees stating as infra:

         “ It needs no emphasis that AIBOC has always shown concern for the retirees and the pensioners and has been raising and settling their issues unlike some retired executives who did nothing for the retirees when they were in service though they had the powers but are acting as championing the cause of retirees today when they are victims. It was AIBOC which kept the issue of 2nd option of pension alive and ultimately clinched the same in the 9th BPS to the benefit of lakhs of retirees. Again, it was AIBOC which clinched 2nd option of pension for VRS optees who were clandestinely denied the same by IBA by wrong interpretation of the settlement.”

The ratio of retirees to employees on rolls as beneficiaries of the second option was somewhere 1:8.   The impression conveyed above is that AIBOC is championing the cause of retirees and not of its members. 

The statement that it was AIBOC was keeping the issue of 2nd option alive and ultimately clinched it in 9th Bipartite Settlement needs slight amendment as all organizations had kept the issue dead for about a decade till end of December, 2006.    Even as government of India issued a direction to IBA to advise all banks to amend regulation 22 (4) (b) vide letter F.No.4/8/4/95-IR dated 24 .12.1997 and to give effect to it (which cannot be done in letter and spirit without giving a fresh option along with the amendment) to all, all organistion including AIBOC were sleeping without claiming an option then, for the members. Banks which amended the regulation apropos the direction clandestinely kept in camera and published among the target group belately in a casual manner with a delay of even 43 months in 2002 only.   When the Pension Regulations contained the penal clause under regulation 22 (4) (b) majority could not opt for pension.  When the clause was deleted and regulations underwent radical change, such people did not get an option under it.  It is enigmatic that the option given through the Joint Note was termed as 2nd option to those who did not get the 1st option under the amended Regulations.

The Joint Note signed on 27.04.2010 is breached by its principal party IBA through non-compliance with the requirement mandated by its conclusion No.10 relating to amendment of the Pension Regulations.  The Joint Note is thus void and if AIBOC is honest and earnest with commitment to its own members can challenge it and see that it is set aside.

The Joint Note contained stupid conclusions alone.  In the case of employees, the contribution to Pension Fund to the tune of 2.8 times pay for November, 2007 envisaged thereby was discriminatory and opposed to the Constitution of India as it treats similar amanner of people differently.  Employees on rolls are similar manner of people and paying pension to one set by subjecting them to a contribution and another set without the contribution is unwarranted.

In the case of the retired, when they have paid back the CPF paid on retirement and 56 percent of it by way of interest for the period the CPF was with them, pension shall be paid to them from the date of retirement and not from the 27.11.2009 arbitrarily stipulated in the Joint Note.  The Joint Note which had to be laid in the Houses of the Parliament for their nod as soon as it was signed is not laid in the Houses in spite of the lapse of six years and three quarters by now.  Regulation 52 (1) remaining intact, pension shall become payable from the date following the date of retirement itself and not from 27.11.2009.

Regulation 5 (3) and 11 of Pension Regulations in force fix the bank as the sole contributor to the Pension Fund.   A fortiori, Pension Funds of banks does not have a component other than the components mentioned under regulation 7.  It does not encompass a contribution by the employee than the initial transfer of CPF lying to his credit to the Pension Fund.    The levy subjected to employees and retired mentioned supra are illegal and unwarranted by the Trust of Pension Funds.

Your observation that “retired executives who did nothing for the retirees when they were in service though they had the powers but are acting as championing the cause of retirees today when they are victims” needs to be revisited.  They have to be excused as we could imagine what they would have faced from the authorities if they made any attempt to use their powers to favour employees.  The case with organizations is different as they cannot be punished for speaking for the employees.   Moreover it is their onus and obligation to conserve and protect the rights of employees as they are regularly collecting subscriptions and levies from the members. 

The Pension Funds have provision to pay pension and family pension only in accordance with the Pension Regulations  in terms of regulation 5 (2) and no one can be admitted to benefits of Pension Regulations after 26.01.1996 ( on which date 120 days from notification of Regulations on 29.09.1995 expired).  This makes it limpid that no one can be admitted to the Pension Fund created pursuant to Pension Regulations through the Joint Note and paid pension on its basis out of the Pension Funds.  All pension paid from 27.11.2009 on the basis of the Joint Note running in several crores of Rupees is unlawful and constitute a scam of Pension Funds. The Pension Paid cannot be discontinued or recovered also since it is under a sealed contract backed by consideration viz. option and the contribution.   The IBA and MOF are now in trap and are accountable for the manipulation of Pension Funds.

In the Joint Note dated 25 May, 2015 to 10th Bipartite Settlement, it was stated by the parties that retiree issues cannot be discussed with labour  organistions and strangely beneath, both parties signed conclusions that there is no contractual relationship for banks with the retired.  This was true so long as the relationship of employees with banks was statutory, arising out of the Pension Regulations and Service Regulations. The leader of the UFBU who categorically stated that unless retiree issues are resolved, 10th BPS will not be signed took a “U” turn and signed it for reasons best known to him alone.

If the so called AIBOC is earnest and honest and has any commitment to at least to the members – not to shed crocodile tears for  the cause of the retirees -  and is worth a pinch of salt to them, let them challenge the Joint Note and see that it is set aside.   If not all they claim and do turn out to be attempts to patch of a hole with darkness.


Thanks and Regards and Revolutionary Greetings.

Yours sincerely,