The apex leadership of three organisations of Retirees in the Banking Sector viz. All India Bank Pensioners & Retirees Confederation, All India Bank Retirees’ Federation and Federation of SBI Pensioners’ Associations met together at New Delhi on 16th April, 2014 to finalise the text of a common memorandum on the demands of the Retirees. After a threadbare discussion, the memorandum was finalized and signed Sarbashree S.R. Sengupta, S.C. Jain and P.P.S. Murthy.
It was decided in the meeting that the copy of the memorandum along with a forwarding letter signed by all the organisations would be sent immediately to the Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Banking Department, Government of India, the Chairman, Indian Banks Association, the Convener of United Forum of Bank Unions and also to the constituent organisations belonging to UFBU.
The full text of the memorandum reproduced below
We request you to spare some of your valuable time over a few important issues confronting all the Retirees & Pensioners of the Banking Industry.
ii. The Retirees of the Banking Industry are all senior citizens in the age group of 60 to 80 years, having joined the Banks before or immediately after the nationalization of the Banks. They have worked in every nook and corner of our country, implementing the policies of the Growth of our economy and for the welfare of all sections of our society. Their pioneering role is responsible for the vibrant and healthy growth of the Banking Industry in our country. They deserve to be shown consideration and help to enable them to lead their retired life with dignity.
1. Revision of Pension with every revision of salary
With the constant and substantial erosion in the real value of our currency, the purchase value of the pension paid on the basis of very low salary scales prevailing at the time of their retirement is hardly adequate to meet the sustenance and health care needs of the ageing pensioners of the Banks. Although the pension scheme of the Bank employees has been drawn on the lines of the Pension Scheme of the Government and specific mention made in Pension Regulations, the pension of the retired employees of the Banks are not revised on subsequent revisions of salary, as is done by the Government for its pensioners. As a result, endless distortion and discrimination is taking place. The pension of a General Manager retired 10 to 15 years back is much lower than his junior colleagues retiring during the subsequent years. Apart from this discriminatory position, the aged pensioners need to live with dignity, for which the real value of their pension needs to be protected by periodical revision just in the same way the salary scales are revised. Pension being a defered wage, pension of all the past employees of the Banks needs to be revised along with future revision of salary made every five years for the Bank employees. In different bilaterally agreed minutes there are repeated mentions that such updations will take place and the Bank Regulations do contain provisions for this purpose. The apprehension that the Banks would not be able to meet the provisioning requirements of the Banks as per AS-15 norms is not warranted. Sample study reveals that our Banks have that capacity to meet these requirements. The provisioning requirement and the actual annual out go for the payment of pension on updated salary scales can comfortably be met by the Banks. We trust that this important request will favourably be considered.
2. FAMILY PENSION
The family pension paid by the Banks is most insignificant with most of them getting it at 15% of pay. The Pension Regulations of Banks provide for the payment of family pension based on the RBI Pension Scheme. The Reserve Bank of India has since revised family pension at 30% of pay to all its family pensioners on the same basis as paid by the Government. The gross family pension of the top most official of the Banks does not exceed Rs7,000/-, which is totally inadequate in these hard days of hyper inflation. RBI has higher limit of Rs.24,495/- and minimum of Rs.9500/- as family pension.
3.100% NEUTRALIZATION OF DEARNESS RELIEF TO PRE 1-11-2002 PENSIONERS OF BANKS.
The most glaring injustice done is the denial of the above improvement made to Banks’ pensioners retired on or after 1-11-2002 to the pensioners retired before 1-11-2002. All pensioners of Banks are members of the same pension scheme and belong to a class. The Retirees before 1-11-2002 get lesser quantum of compensation because 100% neutralization is not offered to them, where as the Retirees after 1-11-2002 get better compensation with 100% neutralization of D.A., with effect from 1-05-2005. This has to be extended to the surviving pensioners retired before 1-11-2002 also. The Reserve Bank of India is providing 100% neutralization of D.A to all its pensioners with effect from 1-2-2005.This unjust discrimination needs to be removed without any delay.
4. PENSION ISSUES OF STATE BANK OF INDIA
The well accepted norm in all organizations viz Central Government and State Governments, Nationalized Banks etc on payment of pension at 50% of the last drawn average pay is denied to the pensioners of SBI retired as Officers in Scale II above. This discrimination in the payment of pension by SBI needs to be removed immediately.
5. Improved Medical /Hospitalization Scheme for the Retirees.
At present the Banks are having different schemes with varying norms in providing the above Scheme. Inadequacy of the amounts, lack of uniformity and lack of equity needs to be addressed in providing this very important facility. We strongly appeal for a uniform medical assistance schemes including for hospitalization.
6. Representation to the Pensioners’ Organizations in Bilateral Forums The UFBU the Organization of our younger colleagues serving in the Banks have been incorporating in their demands some improvements for the Pensioners. The Pensioners do need a platform for hearing their views. At present no opportunity is given to our Organizations for presenting our views to Government/ I.B.A before the conclusions of the bipartite wage and pension settlement. This lack of opportunity to us has resulted in the neglect of the interests of the pensioners. The Central Pay Commissions provide such opportunities to the various Organizations of the Pensioners of the Government. As in the case of the pensioners of the Government a proper opportunity and forum to represent our demands and views may be provided to the organizations of the Bank Pensioners/Retirees.
7. Other Issues
There are certain other issues of importance concerning the Retirees of Banks. The denial of equity to the retirees of the Private Sector Banks, denial of option to Pension to the Resigned Retirees and those retired compulsorily with eligible pensionable service, parity of RRB employees in respect of superannuation benefits and further improvement of financial exgratia for pre 1-11-1986 Retirees.
We, three organizations of the Pensioners/Retirees represent more than 2 lac members. We are making this earnest appeal with the strong hope that this representation will receive your due consideration. We trust that a positive decision would soon be taken in the interests of the community of the Banks’ employees who are mostly in advanced age. The stark reality is that they are in their twilight years without much time left for them. We do hope that timely justice would be rendered to them. We look forward to a favourable and an early action and reply.
With Respectful Regards,
( S.R. SENGUPTA) ( S.C. JAIN ) ( P.P.S. MURTHY)
GEN. SECRETARY GEN. SECRETARY GEN. SECRETARY
ALL INDIA BANK PENSIONERS ALL INDIA BANK FEDERATION OF SBI
& RETIREES CONFEDERATION RETIREES PENSIONERS
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