One Rank One Pension (OROP) notification was issued late on Saturday evening after the government reversed its proposal to exclude ex-servicemen who had sought premature retirement from the ambit of OROP. According to the notification, the government will pay the arrears of OROP in four equal half-yearly installments. However, all family pensioners, including those receiving special or liberalised family pension and gallantry award winners, will get their arrears in a single installment. The pension of past pensioners would be fixed on the basis of the pension of retirees of 2013, and the benefit will be granted from July 1, 2014. Here are 5 top reasons why the ex-servicemen are not happy with the OROP notification:
1. The government has not conceded the demands for an annual equalisation of revised pension, for pegging the pension to the maximum of the current pensioners, and for appointing an expert commission with serving military personnel and ex-servicemen representatives.
2. Therefore, it came as no surprise when ex-servicemen who have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi since June, rejected the notification issued by the Defence Ministry, saying “This is not OROP. At best, it is a one-time increment. We totally and outrightly reject it. It reflects a lack of maturity on the part of the political leadership of the government.”
3. OROP means military personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service would get the same pension, irrespective of their date of retirement. Currently, a Colonel who retired earlier — under the mandate of earlier pay commissions — receives lesser pension than a Colonel who retired after the Sixth Pay Commission came into vogue in 2006. With the Seventh Pay Commission scheduled to submit its report by the end of the year, this difference would have increased further.
4. The veterans wanted equalisation of pension every year, or at least every two years, but the government has notified that it would happen only once in five years.
5. They had wanted the revised pensions to be fixed at the maximum of the pension being received by current retirees, but the government has announced that only an average of the maximum and minimum will be given. But the pensions of those who are receiving a higher pension than average will not be reduced.