Sub: Request for Scrapping of PFRDA Bill
We submit the following for your critical and objective analysis of the Bill :
4. The fifth Central Pay Commission which was set up by the GOI in 1993 to go into the wage structure and pension scheme of the Central Government employees referring to the Judgment of the Supreme Court cited, observed (Para 127.6) that " pension is the statutory, inalienable and legally enforceable right earned by the civil servant by the sweat of the brow and being so must be fixed, revised, modified and changed in the way not dissimilar to salary granted to serving employees."
9. The PRFDA Bill stipulates that there will not be any explicit or implicit assurance of the benefit except market based guarantee. The subscriber is thus exposed to the following risks at the exit.
a) If there is a major market shock, the subscriber to the New Pension scheme may end with no ability to purchase an annuity.
b) Since annuity is and cannot be cost indexed, the real worth of the annuity might fall depending upon the inflationary pressure on the economy.
c) As per the scheme, the subscriber is to make the choice of investment portfolio. The Civil Servant being mostly uninformed in finance and investment related matters, he might end up in making wrong choices which would eventually rob him of the old age pension.
d) The subscriber is perforce to contribute to the charges of the investment managers, whose priority often is as to how much profit they could make through investment of the huge corpus of pension fund in the volatile share market .
10. The pension fund created by the employees' subscription and the employers' contribution which directly flows from the exchequer ( which is nothing but tax revenue of the Govt.) is made available for the stock market operations which is not only unethical but also blatant diversion of public fund for private profit, both Foreign and Indian capitalists.
11. In the case of Civil Servants recruited after the cut-off date, the new scheme replaces the existing much better "defined benefit" pension scheme. In the process, the Government has created two classes of civil servants viz. the one with a defined benefit pension scheme and the other with the contributory pension scheme in which the employee is to part with 10% of his emoluments to become entitled for an old age social security subject to the vagaries of share market permits. Since in both the cases, the pay, allowances, perks, and other benefits, privileges, duties and responsibilities are the same it amounts to wanton discrimination of one against another which is not sustainable in law, rather violative of the existing constitutional provisions.
12. The wage structure presently designed for those who are recruited prior to the cut- off date and after is on the same premise and is depressed to enable the Govt. to meet the pension liability in future. By imposing the new contributory pension scheme on the employees who are recruited after the cut off date the Govt. not only denies the statutory defined pension benefit to them but also compel them to contribute for earning an undefined annuity, which must be characterized as highly discriminatory.
14. The PFRDA Bill when enacted, it is rightly feared, will empower the Government to alter or even deny the present employees and pensioners the statutory defined pension benefit as has been done in the case of those who are appointed after the cut-off date.
16. Of the present pension liability of the Govt. of India, which in 2004-05 was 0.51% of the GDP, 0.26% is accounted for by the Defence( which is 50% of the total pension liability.) The study report of the Centre for Economic Studies has concluded that the pension liability as a percentage to GDP which is just 0.5% presently is likely to decline given the growth rate of Indian economy.