United Forum of Bank Retirees’ Organisations ( UFBRO ) is the confederation of all India retiree organisations functioning in the banking industry. It claims that it represents more than 1 lakh bank retirees of 41 banks from public and private sector. It was formed 8 years back to coordinate activities of the retiree organisations to protect interest of bank retirees.
UFBRO has written a letter to Finance Secretary seeking his appointment, as IBA is not consulting retirees' representatives or ready to discuss retirees' issues. IBA is refusing to meet representatives of retirees and hold any sort of consultation on the plea that they do not have mandate from the government in this regard.
Following examples of IBA's attitude quoted in the said letter are worth noting.
(a) While introducing the pension scheme, IBA refused to give pension option to those who took VRS between 1986 to 1995.The matter went up to Supreme Court and with court intervention IBA had to amend its stand in the matter and benefit had be passed to VRS .optees.
(b) Special VRS Scheme was introduced in banking industry during 2000/2001 as a part of manpower planning. About 1 lakh employees opted for VRS. The retirees of this category were denied benefit of 5 years of notional service to calculate basic pension by amending the regulation in improper and illegal manner. In the absence of proper mechanism to look into retirees point of view large number of writ petitions were filed by the affected retirees in high courts. Ultimately with the intervention of Supreme Court the benefit was given to the retirees. It is highly regrettable that still some banks like Allahabad Bank Vijaya Bank and associated banks of SBI have not passed on the benefit to the eligible retirees.
(c) Under 7th Wage Settlement IBA entered into agreement to do fundamental violation in the basic provision of pension regulation by fixing basic pension on notiona pay instead of actual pay drawn at the time of retirement thereby reducing basic pension from 50 percent to 41 percent for those who retired between 1998 to 2002. This was a blatant violation and on realisation the mistake IBA corrected it in the 8th settlement but refusing to pay arrear from the original date of retirement. WPs have been filed in high courts on this issue and IBA has already lost the case in high court and it has approached supreme court .
(d) IBA had introduced concept of 100 percent DA neutralisation to all categories of employees as well as retirees on the basic premise that inflation hurts all equally. However it is unfortunate that IBA did a gross injustice to the retirees who retired prior to 2002.Since this amendment was voilative the fundamental right of equality conferred on the citizen uner the constitution, the retirees were forced to approach courts in the matter.
( e) In 9th wage settlement one more pension option was given to employees as well as past retirees however the VRS optees and compulsory retired employees were denied the pension option by inserting the word ‘superannuation” in the circular sent by IBA to banks .This resulted into avoidable litigation in large number. Ultimately, in view of large number of pending cases in courts the department of financial services was kind enough to ask IBA to withdraw word ‘superannuation’ and give pension option to left over retirees.
(f) On several occasions the regulations have been amended from retrospective effects which is not permissible under law. IBA has also failed to take into account the various developments taking place in the country on pension related matters like pension updation exercise carried out in RBI, improvement in family pension by RBI and many special features and benefits given to government retirees under 6th pay commission and act in pro active manner for the welfare of senior citizen and also hold periodical consultation with representatives of retirees in this area.
Source - AIBRF website