Monday, November 25, 2019

Article regarding ANSWER TO MANY QUESTIONS of bank pensioners

 We reproduce below an article on pension scheme in banks.

All Pension Activists
are requested to
widely circulate this article
among working and
retiree employees.
Must Read, Preserve & Circulate
With Regard to Pension updating, funding, continuity of pension Payment, safety of fund matters number of questions are being raised. We have examined all these questions in the light of Pension Agreement, 1993 and Pension Regulations, 1995 under which Pension is being paid.
Whether our concerns in these matters are genuine and relevant, we examine them in this write up.
However, 1616/1684 issue was settled through SCI judgement in a private writ and so is the case of Special Allowance since declared illegal by Court. In these matters Unions stand nowhere in scene. Despite Court Order, Special Allowance is still under discussion for reasons best known to parties. It may be with idea to show show it as Unions achievement in 11th settlement.
We don't discuss here the terms of 2nd pension option, violating Regulations, 1995, depriving due pensionary benefits to large number of people, though the Banks have had recovered huge cost from new pension optees.
All Pension Activists are requested to widely circulate this article among working and retirees employees.
Cl. 12 of Settlement reads as under:
"12. Provisions WILL BE MADE by a scheme, to BE NEGOTIATED
AND SETTLED between the parties to this settlement by 31st
December, 1993 for applicability, qualifying service , amounts of
pension , payment of pension, commutation of pension, family
pension, UPDATING and other general conditions, etc. on the lines
as are in force in RBI."
Read above clause carefully. One sentence paragraph, according to which a Scheme was to be negotiated & settled between the parties by 31.12.1993 with regard to applicability, qualifying service, amounts of pension, payment of pension, commutation, family pension and (MOST IMPORTANT) UPDATING & other general conditions, etc., but on the LINES as are in force in RBI. Well, let us agree that these aspects were negotiated and settled between the parties, based on which Pension Regulations, 1995 was drafted. These modalities were to be worked out on the lines as were in force in RBI. So, 'No UPDATING' clause in our Regulations, 1995, is very well in line with RBI, where too no updating clause was in existence. RBI Unions raised Pension Revision Demand, despite no revision clause, and achieved through thick and thin of struggles in RBI, Courts and ultimately with Govt of India and won it. We think, it's enough to explain as to how 'revision Clause' didn't find place in Pension Regulations, 1995 and for revision it's not very relevant obstacle at all.
Further, Pension Revision is embodied in Pension Regulations, 1995 itself in terms of which Pension for periods 1.1.1986 and 31.10.1987 was revised vide Clause 35 of Regulations. So, element of 'revision' did exist from day one of Pension. Norms for revision were also laid down in appenfix-1 of Clause 35 of Regulations, 1995.
One more point, we must keep in mind, where law is not specific or silent, inferences are drawn from the usage & practices. In Pension Regulations, 1995, there might not be specific mention of 'Revision', but at the same time, there is no such mention as of 'no revision' or 'one time' fix clause as well. So, in this regard inferences are to be drawn from 'Pension Rules' prevalent elsewhere in Indian context and settle the issue accordingly.
Now, RBI revision is fittest one to draw inference because our Pension Scheme is replica of RBI Pension Scheme. In these backdrop, it is immaterial whether there is revision clause or not. Bear in mind, there was a time when Pension was not in Banking service conditions, but something new was thought of, conceptualized, fought and achieved. Improvement in service conditions is a perpetual and going on processes and for trade Unions it holds no merit to shirk from solemn responsibility to achieve something which is legitimate, genuine & in the interest of working fraternity, on baseless pretexts.
Now, look to other aspect of Funding. Cl.7 deals with composition of the Fund which reads as under:
The Fund shall consist of the following, namely-
(a) the contribution by the bank at the rate of ten percent, per month of the pay of the employees;
(b) the accumulated contributions of the bank to the Provident Fund and interest accrued thereon unto the date of such transfer in respect of the employees;
(c) the amount consisting of contributions of the Bank along with interest refunded by the employees who had retired before the notified date but who opt for pension in accordance with the provisions contained in these regulations;
(d) the investment in annuities insecurities purchased out of the money's of the Fund and interest thereafter;
(e) amount of any capital gains arisibg from the capital assets of the Fund;
(f) the additional annual contribution made by the bank in accordance with the provisions contained in Regulation 11 of these regulations;
(g) any income from investments of the amounts credited to the Fund;
(h) the amount consisting of contribution of the bank along with interest refunded by the family of the deceased employee.
Read above terms carefully, the source of Funding, as envisaged in Regulations. Is there any mention of employees financial obligation towards Pension Funds, other than Banks' PF portion? Then why, whenever wages were revised in past, Unions agreed with IBA for sharing 50% of increased pension cost from financial load sanctioned for employees and officers? There is no such clause that entitles IBA to recover it. It's landmark question of impropriety. As happened, in all last settlements 50% increased pension load was recovered from sanctioned load, from employees side that hammered pay rise even of those who are under NPS.
Now, let us invite your attention to Cl.11 of Regulations. It reads ss under:
11.Acturial Investigation of the Fund- The Bank shall cause an investigation to be made by an Actuary into the financial condition of the Fund every financial year, on the 31st day of March, and make such additional annual contribution to the Fund as may be required to secure payment of the benefits under these regulations.
Read this clause, which very clearly says for actuarial investigation of Pension Fund every year and calls upon Banks to make 'additional contribution to the Fund as may be required to secure payment of benefits under regulations'. Is there any financial obligation of employees? Law doesn't call for what Unions offered to IBA on golden plates. This time again it will be done.
It was a quid-pro-quo deal and as required under rules, pensioners have had to forego their right to Banks' Provident Fund contributions. There is no any other obligation at all on Pensioners with regard to Pension Funding. Onus squarely lies on management to maintain the adequacy of Funds so as to ensure last outgo of Pension.
Let us examine another aspect where people doubt about continuity of Pension payment. Cl.5, Constitution of the Fund, envisage to establish an irrevocable Trust. Fund's object is laid down for 'sole ourpose' to pay Pension in accordance with Pension Regulations, 1995. Now see legal status of Irrevocable Trusts, which have been formed in every Bank. Law defines Irrevocable Trust as under:
"Irrevocable Trust Law and Legal Definition. Irrevocable trust is a trust that cannot be modified or terminated without the permission of the beneficiary. ... Once the grantor has transferred assets into the trust, s/he has no rights of ownership to the assets and the trust."
Even if Banks don't exist, Pension Trust shall pay Pension. It can't be dissolved or taken over by Banks.
Pensioners doubt that Banks can acquire Pension Fund, which legally can't be done. Pension Fund can be specifically used as stated in Cl.13 of Regulations, 1995 for following purposes:
- The payment of benefits by the trust shall be administered fir grant of pensionary benefits to the employees of the Bank or the family pension to the deceased employees of the Bank.
It's satisfying provision that ensures, fund can only be used for payment of specified benefits only.
One more aspect to be noted. Cl.12 of Regulations, 1995 even prohibits Trusts to park their Find in their respective Banks. Look into the followings:
Cl.12. Investment of the Fund- All moneys contributed to the Fund or received or accruing after that date by way of interest or otherwise to the Fund, may be Deposited in a Post Office Savings Bank Account in India or in a current account with any scheduled Bank or utilized in accordance with the Provisions of the Indian Trust Act, 1882 (2 of 1882)
Pension Regulations, 1995 have very wider perception with regard to disputes arising out in implementation at any point of time. Cl.56 of Regulations, 1995 reads as under:
Cl.56 Residuary provisions- In case of doubt, in the matter of application of these regulations, regard may be had to the corresponding provisions of Central Civil Services Rules, 1972 or Central Civil Services (Commutation of Pension) Rules, 1981 applicable for Central Government employees with such exceptions and modifications as the Bank, with the prevision sanction of the Central Government, may from time to time, determine.
Now, interprete above clauses. Bank Pension Scheme is tagged to Central Govt Pension Rules therefore there can be a cause of dispute, whenever CCSR 1972 or CCS ( Commutation of Pension) Rules, 1981 under go change (s). On several occasions in past these rules have had undergone changes, but Unions never raised any dispute in relation to our Pension.
Pension Regulations, 1995 is the basic subordinate legislation, which can be modified positively, but not negatively. It was negatively modified in 1616/1684 matter, challenged & struck down. It was negatively modified in Special Allowance matter, challenged & struck down. 100% DA case people lost at the instance of AIBRF, but fact is that in compensation matter there can't be discriminating rules in one establishment. This entitles retirees same DA, as applicable to working staff.
If you examine Second Pension Option terms in relation to Pension Regulations, 1995, many negative modifications have been made, invalid in the eye of law, if challenged. If someone disagree to it, better he should approach a competent law officer with all documents.
Unions have never examined these issues on law point of view and treated themselves as ultimate law. Second Pension Optees can get great relief and financial benefits if they challenge the second options terms in contravention of Pension Regulations, 1995. We leave it to them. However, we are ready to guide, but not act.
(J. N. Shukla)
National Convenor,
Forum of Bank Pensioner Activists,
(Permitted to be Reproduced & forwarded)

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Letter to Hon PM and Hon FM regarding role of IBA

Copy of a letter dt 8.11.19,sent to Hon.PM and FM by Forum of bank pensioner activists on IBA is reproduced below :
Sri Narendra Modi ji,
Hon'ble Prime Minister,
Govt.of India,
New Delhi

Sister Nirmala Sitharaman,
Hon'ble Finance Minister,
Govt.of India
New Delhi

Respected Sir/ Sister,

           भारतीय बैंक संघ की भूमिका से
            बैंकिंग उद्योग में गहराता संकट !

             इसे प्रतिबंधित किया जाये तथा
               इसकी जगह कोई प्राधिकरण
            बना समस्याओं का निराकरण हो!!

In our letter dated 2nd Nov.,2019, we have had dealt at length on subject cited above. We do not know, as to what's the view that govt holds about Indian Banks' Association. According to IBA, as they have admittedly stated in their circular letter dated 30.9.2019, they have no legal/ constitutional status or authority to act on behalf of govt or Banks. For your ready reference, we quote below point 4 of IBA circular under reference:

"4. Hence, this circular to clarify IBA's status as follows:

● IBA is merely a voluntary association of banks and other financial services players.

● IBA is neither Government/ govt department nor a regulator and not even self-regulator/ self regulatory organization.

● IBA has no authority over Banks & other financial services players.

● IBA does not issue directive to Banks & financial services players, and

● IBA at a times, as directed by its members, merely facilitate matters of common purpose for its members and even then does not make any decision..."

2. Looking to facts & records, we find, govt has been assigning many tasks to IBA. PSBs have also been assigning entire HR related issues to IBA to discuss, negotiate and inter into agreement under ID Act/ MOU or advise. If they have no legal identity or status, how could they have been doing it all these years on behalf of govt or PSBs? They do not acclaim themselves as even Consultants. We do not know them registered under any Act of the land. They just say, they are 'voluntary association' of Banks and other financial services players.

IBA was established in 1946, when Banks were in private hands. It was their Club to take care of their business interests. According to IBA stand, it's same even today. How could it be? How such entity can deal with govt/ PSBs affairs without any legal status, authority and accountability?

Here, the government is required to take a call on IBA in the changed scenarios, which warrant a speaking and decisive Authority to act on behalf of government & PSBs. Apparent view is, IBA is more powerful than DFS, without any power, authority, accountability etc. IBA can ignore and set a side DFS directives/advices. It behaves like super-cop of Banking.

3. IBA collect fabulous amounts in crores as fees, subscriptions and donations from it's members every year. PSBs are major contributors and their executives preside over IBA, spend lavishly for cross purposes. Pertinent question is: whether PSBs can divert such huge amounts to a 'voluntary association' and facilitate it to finance cross purpose?

4. IBA apparently works on behalf of govt/ PSBs, obviouly it's acts and behaviours have far teaching impacts & consequences in govt name. PSBs employees are under govt. Any behaviour with them tantamount to govt behavior. IBA offered 2% wage increase that spread anger against govt at first insurance. Now, it is 12%. What does it speak of, if not, the wreckless, irresponsible and provocative act of IBA? It provoked banking fraternity against govt. IBA has been behaving as street vendor, not an institution, dealing in Govt of India affairs.

5. Govt made very good feel image among bankers by giving instruction in Jan.2016 to start next wage settlement , some 22 months in advance, so as to clinch settlement before 1.11.2017. But, IBA destroyed govt good will and gesture, by maintaining stoic silence, sitting for long & did not wake up despite several reminders from DFS. It's shocking, how PS Banks/ IBA could dare to undermine govt directives!.

6. Looking to host of unbecoming acts and behaviour of IBA and mounting resentment, frustration, anger and anguish of entire banking fraternity, for govt immediate need is to take stock of IBA roles & functions, legal status and identity and find out solution to provide an Authority in place to deal with Banking issues with sense of responsibility and accountability. IBA had failed and it must be abondoned and it's assets taken over by govt, since created out of funding of Banks. It should not remain a mery making point for top Bank Executives. Banking need a competent Authority, which may take pragmatic decisions to resolve HR issues to restore the shaken confidence of banking fraternity in govt as ideal employer.

We, therefore, reiterate our request to stop IBA from dealing in any matter of bank employees/officers. Also, please ask Banks to stop funding and withdraw their executives from IBA. IBA may please be abandoned and in place an independent & autonomous Authority please be appointed comprising eminent bankers, economists, financial & business experts to guide & superwise policy matters and HR issues of Banking. It's due to enept handling of HR issues by IBA that countless court cases are pending in various courts and banks are wasting crores in this regard.

We hope, you consider it sympathetically and take a decision in the interest of Banking Industry. Creation of an Authority is only way to bring normalcy, stability and better productivity in Banking. It will revitalize, energize & motivate banking workforce.

Awaiting your kind consideration & decision.

Respectful Regards,

(J. N. Shukla)
National Convenor,
Prayagraj, Bharat


Friday, September 27, 2019


We are reproducing here under the letter  addressed to Hon’ble Finance Minister, Govt of India on above subject by joint convenor, CBPRO and GS, AIBRF. 

Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman                                                  Date:24.09.2019
Hon’ble Finance Minister
Ministry of Finance
Government of India
North Block
New Delhi
Respected Madam,
Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Govt of India advised IBA vide its        communication dated 24th February 2012 to evolve a Medical Insurance Scheme for Serving and Retired Employees of the Banks. IBA in turn put up this proposal as management issue before United Forum of Bank Unions (UBFU) at the time of wage negotiations which  concluded in April/May 2015. As a result a new medical insurance scheme got introduced both for Serving Employees and Retired Employees with effect from October 2015 and November 2015 respectively. After introduction of IBA’s Medical Insurance Scheme during the year 2015 there has been multifold increase in the premium thereby compelling many of the retirees to opt out of this scheme for the reasons of un-affordability, more particularly those who are family pensioners drawing as low as Rs.4000 per month pension. The entire amount of annual pension in such cases would not be sufficient to meet out the medical insurance premium. The sky rocketing premium has robbed many pensioners of the benefit under IBA policy which has been otherwise largely helpful to the retirees. Such situation calls for the improvements/modifications in the scheme for retired employees. It is with this view in mind the following requests are made for kind consideration:
a. Since Government communication dated 24.02.2012 did not envisage payment of medical insurance by the Retirees, it should be borne by the Bank as in the case of Serving Employees. It is pertinent to mention that the Executive Directors/Managing Directors/ Chairman and Managing Directors are extended the benefit of medical expenses reimbursement even after retirement without any charge to them on similar lines as they were entitled during their service. It is therefore discriminatory on the part of the Banks to create a class within the class
with regard to extension of medical benefit facility to retired bank employees vis-à-vis the top Retired functionaries of the Bank on one side and the Serving Employees on the other side. There is an urgent need to remove this anomaly urgently.
b. Since all the retirees are senior and super senior citizens, their medical insurance/hospitalization reimbursement are social security measures and are the responsibility of the employer as in the case of Government and PSUs. It assumes greater significance after introduction of AYUSH Health Care for other sections of society by the Government without charging any cost to the beneficiaries. Alternatively, the Retired Employees of the Banks which are instrumentalities of the Government and hence fall within the meaning of State under Article 12 of the Constitution of India should be covered under CGHS after charging a fixed lump sum amount at the time of retirement or at the time of extending the cover to all those who have already retired.
c. It is requested to include specially challenged dependent children in the definition of family to provide Medical Insurance benefit.
d. It is pertinent to mention here that United India Insurance Company being the Insurer for Serving and Retired Bank Employees had quoted a moderate premium of Rs. 7,500/- as a penetrating price in the first year (2015) but has been increasing the premium every year in such a manner that the premium for Retirees is far more than the premium which is applicable for Serving Employees. The fact that Retirees are forced to bear the premium while for Serving Employees it is borne by the Banks, makes the discrimination a case of double jeopardy and unbearably harsh. Such steep increase in the premium has been compelling the Retired Employees to exit the Scheme for affordability reasons. It has resulted in a pitiable situation for such of those Retirees who are forced to exit IBA’s Medical Insurance Scheme as they had discontinued their Individual Medical Insurance cover and are barred from taking Individual cover afresh either on account of crossing the threshold age or on the ground of having pre-existing diseases.
It is in this background, we request that those who have exited IBA’s Group Medical Scheme may be permitted to rejoin the Scheme with the suggested improvements.
We earnestly request you to give suitable instructions to DFS/IBA/Member Banks to consider our request and suggestions favourably for the ensuing renewal which is due on 01.11.2019 and thus provide much deserved relief to the Bank Retirees who were an integral part of Nation building by implementing the Policies and Programmes of the Government for 30-40 prime years of their life. The Government under the dynamic and caring leadership of our Hon’ble Prime Minister has been applauding the contributions of Public Sector Bank Employees and Officers for implementing various Schemes with a total sense of commitment and devotion. We are therefore earnestly requesting for a small reward for the good work done for the Government and the society.
Kindly consider our request favourably and oblige.
With regards,
Yours Faithfully,
(K.V. Acharya)                                (S.C.Jain)
Joint Convener, CBPRO       General Secretary, AIBRF


Thursday, September 5, 2019

Supreme Court Judgment on Contempt Petition filed by retirees of erstwhile SBM

Hon Supreme Court has delivered judgement favourable to retirees of erstwhile SBM in the contempt petition case filed by them. Please click on the following link to view text of the Judgement
 Supreme Court Judgement

Thursday, August 1, 2019

D.A. payable to bank pensioners.w.e.f.Aug'19 to Jan'20

     D.A. payable to bank pensioners.w.e.f.Aug'19 to Jan'20

D.A calculator is available for calculating revised D.A. and difference. For calculating D.A , enter basic ( original basic without reducing commutation amount) and click on the calculate button. Revised D.A , Present D.A. and difference will be displayed on the calculator. Select appropriate retirement date range according to the date of retirement.

Click on the following link for  D A Calculator. 

D.A. Calculator