Thursday, October 13, 2016
FURTHER SIMPLIFICATION OF DISABILITY PENSIONARY DATA - BY MAJ NAVDEEP SINGH (RETD)
FURTHER SIMPLIFICATION OF DISABILITY PENSIONARY DATA
The day has seen many incorrect reports with cherry-picked selective data projected by vested interests to the media and the government (by the same people who fed exactly the same data to the Pay Commission) with an attempt to show that Jawans would benefit more under the SLAB SYSTEM of calculation of disability element rather than the 30% OF PAY SYSTEM of calculation for 100% disability as was applicable till now thereby also attempting to create a dangerous schism between officers and other ranks and also between the government and the military.
It is however very clear that only those Jawans would benefit who are invalided out with minimal service in the beginning of their careers (extremely rare) and not the bulk of personnel of various ranks.
Under the slab system, Jawans would benefit only if their pay at the time of release from service is less than 34800 (basic)+5200 (military service pay) under the 7th CPC rates since below this 30% of basic pay would fall below 12000.
Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) will only benefit if their pay at the time of release is less than 51000+5200 since below this, 30% of basic pay would be less than 17000.
Commissioned Officers will only benefit if their pay at the time of release is less than 74500+15500 since below this, 30% would be less than 27000.
If the pay is of any amount over the above, then the percentage system is more beneficial.
Now let us see at what stage the bulk of the Army retires:
Jawans become eligible for regular pension at 15 years and start retiring in the rank of Naik at 17 years of service by which time their basic would be 35900+5200 under 7th CPC rates (the modified assured progression scheme benefit at 16 years of service is factored in) and most of them who attain the rank of Havildar retire at the service of 26 years when their basic is 44900+5200 (MACP at 24 years is again factored in). Hence bulk of retirees (almost all, except those rare cases who are invalided out very early in their careers) at the Jawan level are above the basic level of 34800+5200 which is the figure till which only slab system is hypothetically beneficial. All such retirees gain from the percentage system of calculation.
JCOs usually start retiring as Subedars with 28 years of service at the stage of 52000+5200, again which is above the stage of 51000+5200 till which stage the slab system is hypothetically beneficial. Further, those JCOs promoted as Subedar Major or Honorary Officers stand to lose massive amounts due to the slab system. Hence all JCOs retire at a stage where percentage system is beneficial, not slab.
Commissioned Officers usually start retiring after attaining the pensionable service of 20 years in premature retirement cases where their basic is 139300+15500 which is much above the amount of 74500+15500 till which the slab system is beneficial. For such officers, the amount under the slab system is 27000 while under the percentage system is 46400 for 100% disability. Except premature retirement cases, bulk of officers are superseded as Colonels and retire as such when their basic is 195800+15500 which means that under the slab system they are fixed at 27000 while under the percentage system they would be eligible for 64380. Hence all officers also gain from the percentage system.
I would hence request the Political Executive, the Government and the media not to fall for factually incorrect charts and wrong information being fed to them. They can simply take a look at the defence pay matrix notified by the Government and undertake their own calculations by addition the pay amount for every rank with the applicable Military Service Pay and then calculating 30% of it and then comparing it with the slabs now notified.
Also, the question arises that if really the SLAB system had been beneficial for lower ranks, then why hasn’t it been made applicable to other services including Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), and why hasn’t there been any demand from CAPFs for extension of the slab system to them and rather there has been a demand from the defence community to revert back to the percentage system that was applicable to them till now at par with civilians. Further, if the slab system was considered beneficial for rare cases occurring in lower ranks, then their pensions could have been protected based on such slabs as was also done after the 6th CPC.
Moreover, has anybody realized that while all pensions, including disability pensions for civilians, have been multiplied by 2.57 by the pay commission, singularly disability pensions of the military have been slashed and in some cases reduced to less than half? While all pay commissions till date have resulted in increased payouts, this pay commission has resulted in slashing disability benefits!
The data projected in some publications regarding comparison of 6th CPC rates with 7th CPC rates is also mischievous since additional Dearness Relief @125% is paid on 6th CPC rates which stands neutralized to 0% as on 01-01-2016 at 7th CPC rates. Hence when the publication has shown that in the 6th CPC the disability element of pension of a JCO was 12900 and it has increased to 17000 in the 7th CPC, the real data is that it was 12900+125% Dearness Relief, that is, 29025 for 100% disability which has been reduced to 17000+0% Dearness, that is, a total of 17000 for 100% disability, as on 01-01-2016 by the 7th CPC. And yes, a fall from 29025 to 17000 is a decrease, not an increase, at least in the saner parts of this nation!
(Source : From Twitter a/c of Maj Navdeep Singh (Retd) and from FB A/c of Sgt Achuthan Raghavan Air Vet)