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Pensioners angry at 2006 'divide'
BS Reporter in New Delhi
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March 27, 2008

An estimated 3.8 million central government pensioners who retired from service prior to January 1, 2006, have joined the ranks of those who are not happy with the Sixth Pay Commission's recommendations.

They say the recommended hike for them works out to only 15 per cent, compared with around 40 per cent for those who retired after this date.

Also, unlike the Fifth Pay Commission, the latest award has not ensured parity for all retirees, they say.

The commission's recommendations come into effect from January 2006. For instance, an officer who retired in the higher administrative grade-1 (equivalent to an additional secretary in the central government) prior to January
1, 2006, was in the basic pay bracket of Rs 22,500-24,500.

At retirement, his or her pension was 50 per cent of the last 10 month's average basic pay. This worked out to Rs 12,225 a month in basic pension. From April 2004, the pension went up to Rs 18,375 a month on account of merger of 50 per cent dearness pay and pension.

Subsequently, as on January 2006, a 24 per cent dearness allowance got added, taking the pension to Rs 22,785.

The Sixth Pay Commission has recommended enhancing this to Rs 26,215, a net increase of just 15 per cent over the earlier pension of those who retired before January 2006.

However, for those who retired after January 1, 2006, the commission has recommended a pension of 50 per cent of their enhanced salary. So, an officer who retired in the same higher administrative grade-1 scale will get pension on the basis of the new pay band of Rs 39,200-67,000, plus Rs 11,000 as grade pay.

Assuming he had reached the top of the grade at the time of retirement, his last monthly pay drawn would be Rs 78,000. Therefore, his pension will work out to Rs 39,000, which is 48 per cent higher than the pension that officers in this grade who retired prior to January 1, 2006, get.

"The Sixth Pay Commission has grossly failed in ensuring parity between existing pensioners and future retirees, as was done by the Fifth Pay Commission," said a former Indian Railway Services officer who retired in the higher administrative grade.

An army brigadier who retired prior to January 2006 also echoed the view.

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