Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Updation of Pension and Improvement in Family Pension - Letter by CBPRO to Hon Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley

We reproduce below the letter by CBPRO to Hon FM

Shri Arun Jaitley ji
Hon’ble Finance Minister
Government  of India
North Block
New Delhi.

Honourable Sir,

Updation of Pension and Improvement in Family Pension

We wish to invite a kind reference to our letter dated 03.01.2019 wherein we have listed out the pending issues and grievances of Bank Pensioners and Retirees. We had also impressed upon the need for resolution of such of those issues which have been causing serious concern and hardship to the Senior and Super Senior Citizens from the Banking fraternity who had served the country and helped take Banking services to nook and corner of the country and hitherto neglected sectors of the society.  We have always conducted ourselves as a vehicle of carrying out various schemes of the Government for the upliftment of poor and direct benefit transfer to more than 33 crores beneficiaries of PMJDY accounts. Having served the country during prime of their life, the Bank Pensioners and Retirees fondly look forward to your good self for much awaited relief through redressal of their grievances in the evening of their life before breathing their last.

We are extremely glad to know that the Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Dept of Financial Services vide its notification dt 05.3.2019 has approved the long pending demand of the RBI Pensioners to update their Pension as per the formula given in the said notification. It is a welcome step. We congratulate and thank you for this gesture.

The decision of the Government to grant extension of the benefit of Updation of Pension to the Employees & Officers of Reserve Bank of India has given a ray of hope to the other Pensioners & Retirees of the Banking Industry that similar demand from them shall also be considered immediately so as to benefit  more than 7.00 lacs families who have been patiently waiting for Updation of Basic Pension for more than two decades.

  1. Updation of Pension:

Further we would like to draw your kind attention on the following points in support of Bank Retirees demand for Updation.

  1. Our request for Updation is not a request for any fresh benefit. Pension Regulation 35(1) provided for Updation of Basic Pension and Additional Pension in respect of those Employees/Officers who retired between 01.01.1986 and 31.10.1987 and at the time of introduction of Pension Scheme in Banks during 1995-96 it was so given to them as they alone were eligible for Updation at that stage.

  1.  Periodic Wage Revision entails periodic Pension Updation. Pay Revision and Pension Revision are inseparable. Hence Pension updation has to be implemented in respect of SBI Pensioners, All Public and Private Sector Bank Pensioners who were employees of the member Banks of IBA. More over Pension is a deferred wage and it is paid out of Pension Fund

  1. Pension Regulation 35(1) was later amended vide Gazette Notification No:9 dated 01.03.2003 providing for Updation of Basic Pension and Additional Pension wherever applicable thus making it an open-ended scheme to provide the benefit of Pension Updation to all Retirees who become eligible on periodical revision of Pay through Industry level Wage Settlements.

  1.  IBA/Government has been denying the benefit of Pension Updation despite clear provision in Pension Regulation 35(1) sighting cost consideration and implications.

  1. Pension is a Deferred Wage and a property under Articles 19(1) (f) and 31(1) of Constitution of India and hence a statutory obligation of the Banks which are States within the meaning of Article 12 of Constitution of India.

f.        Pension including updated Pension and Family Pension become payable out of Pension Fund. The present Pension Fund of the Public Sector Banks including State Bank of India is quite robust and healthy at more than Rs. 300,000 crores with potential to afford paymen of 3to4 times of present disbursements on account of Pension and Family Pension.

g.       In Banks Pension is paid out of Pension Fund which is created by the surrender of the mandated management contribution of Provident fund by the Bank Employees and Officers during their service. Pension is not paid out of profits but out of the Pension Fund  so created. Hence payments to be so made as per Pension Regulations will not affect the Balance Sheet of the Banks. Provision, if any for Pension Fund is a charge on Profit & Loss A/c and hence is not payable out of net profit of the Banks.  Net profit has to be arrived at only after making all provisions including for payment of Salary and Pension which are statutory in nature. Statutory payments cannot be denied for cost considerations.

.2. Uniform 30% Family Pension at par with Government and Reserve Bank:

a.   The present methodology of computing Family Pension in Banks provides for a range         of percentage from 15 % to 30 % where in a lower percentage is assigned to higher Basic Pay with specified ceiling as a cap on Basic family pension.

b.    The above methodology effectively results in the Family Pension working out  merely  to 7 to 10% of last drawn pay restricting Basic Family Pension to a meagre sum of Rs. 4,000/- to Rs. 14000/- after attainment of notional age of 65 years by the deceased employee or 7 years from the date of death whichever is earlier.

   c.   Government and RBI Pensioners are paid Family Pension uniformly at 30% of last   drawn pay without any ceiling.

 d.   Un-affordability of proposed improvement in Family Pension is being arbitrarily quoted to deny the benefit despite there being adequate provision made during the service tenure of the employee by the Bank for payment of full Pension to the employee. Thus Family Pension being lesser than the Pension of the Employee, it would involve a negative cost to the Pension Fund. Hence the contention of IBA/Government about cost consideration defies logical, economic sense, rationality and above all humane consideration.

 e. Family Pensioners are largely the widows and hence the issue of rendering justice                to them at par with Government and RBI pensioners assumes greater and emotive     significance. Improvement in Family Pension at par with Government and RBI family pension  is therefore a genuine need and merits a sympathetic consideration.

Since it is a very emotive and justified issue, we earnestly request you to intervene and help much deserving Family Pensioners largely the women folk.

We as the coordination of Bank Retirees Organisations representing 100% of Bank Pensioners and Retirees, have conducted dharnas and demonstrations at about 30 important centres throughout the nation and more than 1,00,000 Bank Retirees and Pensioners had participated. The success of our demonstrations and dharnas is a reflection of the seriousness of the Pending issues and anxiety in the minds of Senior Citizens about protracted delay in redressal of their grievances by a government which is known for its objectivity, transparency, speed, and fairness in disposal of the pending matters. In this background we once again request your good selves to consider all our pending issues more particularly the foregoing two important and urgent issues:

It is thus clear that the cost of Updation will be absorbed by the yield on the Pension Fund without denting the Balance Sheets of the Banks in any manner whatsoever.

Honourable Sir, We have fond hope of getting justice at your hands and hence we on behalf of more than 7,00,000 Bank Pensioners and Retirees make an earnest and fervent appeal to your good self to consider our above requests favourably and help resolve the same by advising Indian Banks Association and Dept of Financial Services, at the earliest.

         With Respectful Regards,

Yours faithfully,

          (A.Ramesh Babu)       (K.V. Acharya)          (S.C. Jain)
               Joint Conveners, CBPRO                General Secretary, AIBRF

Monday, March 11, 2019

(i) Updation of pension (ii) Computation of special allowance in calculation of superannuation benefits

 We reproduce hereunder the text of  letter by AIBPARC dated 07.03.2019 on above subjects written to the Chief Executive officer, IBA

AIBPARC/IBA/CORRESPONDENCE/E-MAIL/2019                         07.03. 2019.
The Chief Executive Officer,
Indian Banks Association,
World trade Centre, 6th Floor,
Center 1 Building,
World Trade Center Complex,
Cuff Parade,
Mumbai – 400005.
Respected Sir,
Sub : (i) Updation of pension
(ii) Computation of special allowance in calculation of superannuation benefits.
We, the retirees of the Banking Industry, are deeply enthused to note the contents of memo no. F/11/5/2001-IR dated 05.03.2019 signed by Shri Sanjay Kumar Mishra, Under Secretary to Govt. of India, DOFS, Ministry of Finance addressed to the Governor of RBI in terms of which RBI has been allowed to amend its Pension Regulations with regard to revision of pension and the mode of calculation has also been suggested.
Before taking up the issue with Government of India, we consider it prudent to write to you for the simple reason that most of the relevant documents are lying in your office. Much before Bank Pension Regulation came into existence, there had been series of meetings between top officials of IBA and representatives of workmen and officers’ organisations. All such discussions are duly minuted. We are quoting from some such documents to show that Bank Pension Regulation is based on RBI/Central Govt. patterns.
Memorandum dated 29.10.1993 signed by IBA and leaders of workmen :
“ The pension scheme agreed on to be broadly on Central Govt./RBI pattern and details of the scheme will be worked out.”
Minutes of the meeting of small committee on pension held on 26.03.1994 signed by RN Godbole and others with top officials of IBA.
“This (formulation of Regulations) was to be done on similar lines as Reserve Bank of India Pensioners and Central Civil Service (Pension) Rules applicable to Central Govt. employees by making suitable modifications in relation to its applicability in the banking industry.”
There is a common clause in both the minutes which says “Provisions will be made by a scheme to be negotiated and settled between the parties to the agreement for applicability, qualifying service, amount of pension, payment of pension, commutation of pension, family pension, updating and general conditions.”
From the above quotations, it is clear that Bank Pension Regulations was formulated on the pattern of RBI/Central Govt. When Govt. has already approved updation of pension in case of employees and officers of RBI, we call upon all concerned to apply their mind once again on this long-neglected demand of bank pensioners and act fast in a pro-active manner. It would be our earnest request to you to please forward all the referred documents to Govt. of India with necessary recommendations.
2. Reckoning special allowance for terminal benefits :
Your kind attention is drawn to the judgement of Supreme Court delivered on 28th February, 2019 where it has been held that when a special allowance is paid to all employees, whether on duty or on leave, it is nothing but basic wages and has therefore to be reckoned for computation and contribution to Provident Funds of employees by employer. Applying the same judgement, special allowance introduced in 10th Bipartite settlement has to be reckoned for payment of gratuity and pension. This judgement bears reference no. Civil appeal 6221 of 2011 filed by Regional Provident Commissioner (ii), West Bengal and various other companies. This is our earnest request to you to examine the referred judgement in its true spirit and by following an honest litigation policy, the issue may please be resolved through bilateral negotiations.
Considering the urgency, we are sending the letter by email and the hard copy will go by speed post.
With kind regards,

Saturday, March 9, 2019


We reproduce hereunder AIBOC etter  dated 08.03.2019, sent to Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon’ble Finance Minister, Govt. of India 

Text of letter no. AIBOC/2019/32 dated 08.03.2019

The Hon’ble Finance Minister
Government of India
North Block
New Delhi - 110001

Respected Shri Arun Jaitley ji,


At the outset, we wish to convey our happiness to the Ministry of Finance for paving the way for the updation of pension of RBI employees, which is the fulfilment of a long standing demand. We also note that another pension option has been put in place for the LIC and GIC employees, which is indeed a positive development. Such developments have offered a ray of hope for the several lakh of retirees of PSU Banks, who are waging a long battle for updation of pension and revision of family pension. While we have been given to understand that there is some forward movement in clearing the much needed family pension issue, our pensioners are still left in the lurch as regards updation of pension, which has not happened many years now. This is to bring to your kind attention that though the Ministry of Finance had advised the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) well in time to complete the process of wage negotiation in the banking sector with the workmen’s Unions / Officers’ Associations in a time bound manner, no much progress in this regard has taken place so far. 

02. Here we would wish to draw your kind attention to the fact that in case of bank pensioners, basic pension is frozen on the date of superannuation, and it is never revised consequent upon the succeeding bipartite settlements. Worst kind of discrimination is prevailing amongst different group of retirees in the matter of payment of Dearness Allowance. Pension on Special Pay is denied in the 10th bipartite settlement. Although Bank Pension Regulation is framed on the pattern of RBI / Central Govt. Pension Scheme, no steps have been taken to remove the discrimination.  A section of SBI pensioners are also denied pension @50% of basic pay. On the other hand, the Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance has accorded approval for ‘Revision of Pension of RBI Employees’, in the recent past, as per which a notional increase of 10% in pension plus Dearness Allowance with each of the three wage revisions in 2002, 2007 and 2012 has been approved. This has resulted in an overall increase in basic pension of all sections of pensioners retired before 01.11.2002. But unfortunately, revision of pensions in banking industry, which was a residual issue as per the ‘Record Note’ dated 25.05.2015 signed by all parties in the settlement, has not so far been opened despite repeated reminders from the trade unions of banks. Similarly, family pension to the spouse of the deceased employees continues to be too meager to lead a minimum level of dignified life.

03. We are also constrained to bring to your attention that the Bi-partite wage talks have hit a roadblock due to the regressive stand of IBA in restricting mandate upto Scale-III cadre only. We hope it would not be out of place to mention here that in the past as many as on 8 successive occasions, i.e. in 1979, 1984, 1989, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015, ‘Joint Notes’ had been signed between IBA and the Officers’ organisations, which covered wage revision and service conditions for all Scales of Officer employees (i.e. from Scale I to Scale VII) in line with one of the principal recommendations of Pillai Committee Report (PCR) of 1979. In short, wage revision for all Scales of Officers of the banking Industry from Scale I to Scale VII is a time tested practice of wage negotiation. Under the circumstances, we did not find any reason as to how 5 Banks (viz. State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, Union Bank of India and Indian Bank) could refrain from giving ‘unconditional (i.e. full) mandate’, thereby excluding officers in Scale IV and above from the wage negotiation process, while as many as 14 out of 19 public sector banks have given their full mandate to IBA. Eventhough we had from the very beginning requested the Negotiating Committee of IBA to ensure that all the member banks should submit their full mandates, IBA took an unfortunate stand that it was the decision of the individual banks. Since there is no point in continuation of talks without full mandate for all Scales of Officers, All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) had taken a conscious decision of excusing themselves from the proceedings of the Negotiating Committee Meeting during the talks held at Mumbai on 30.11.2018. Thereafter, AIBOC along with NOBO did not take part in the talks held on 2nd February and 21st February, 2019. We again have been given to understand that an offer has been floated on 21st February, 2019 by IBA to extend the mandate upto Scale V. However, we again like to make our stand clear that for the wage talks to progress unhindered, we need clear and unconditional mandate. We also fervently request you to advise the IBA suitably to have negotiations on improvements in Pension and Family Pension.

04. Keeping in view the scientific practices prevailing across the countries, the demand for Five days week was originally placed in the 10th BPS, when 2nd and 4th Saturdays were declared as holidays. At present, it has become a priority, which is likely to bring many positive effects, such as increased productivity, improved job satisfaction and morale, decreased absenteeism, reduced energy costs and work-life balance. There is acute shortage of staff at branches, which has increased workload manifold and causing angst and frustration amongst bank officers, especially the new generation. A positive move in this regard would be hailed by one and all. The matter may please be addressed at the earliest.

05. We also urge upon your good office to restore the Old Defined Benefit Pension scheme and scrap the National Pension System, which has been implemented in Banks since August, 2010. There is tremendous resentment amongst the new recruits, who want restoration of the Old Pension Scheme.

06. We also invite your kind attention to the Judgment delivered by Hon’ble Supreme Court on 28th February, 2019 in Civil Appeal No. 6221 of 2011 filed by Regional Provident Commissioner (II) West Bengal, wherein it was held that the Special Allowance payable in all these concerns to all the employees without exception falls within the definition of Basic Wages in Sec 2(b) of Employees Provident Fund Act, 1952. It is also pertinent to submit that the definition of Basic Wages in Sec 2(b) of EPF Act is similar to the definition of Wages in Sec 2(s) of Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972. The above judgment is clearly applicable to Banks’ Provident Fund Scheme too, making it obligatory on Banks to reckon Special Allowance for contribution to Provident Fund for employees, who are PF optees and as a sequel extend its application to pay defined under Pension Regulation 2(s). In view of the ratio applied by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the Special Allowance with its Dearness Allowance component should be reckoned for payment of Gratuity, contribution to Provident Fund and computation of Pension. It is also pertinent to submit that all allowances counted for the purpose of making contribution to the Provident Fund and for the payment of Dearness Allowance are the component of Pay for the purpose of computation of Pension in terms of Pension Regulation 2(s)(b)(ii). The employees who fall under the Xth Bi-partite settlement should also be rightfully extended the benefits of this landmark judgment.
07. We also request you to rescind the unwarranted decision of Amalgamation of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda, which is nothing but a measure of financial engineering, rather than actually improving NPA recovery. In fact, the core problem faced by the Indian banking industry is the enormous pile up of NPAs over Rs.10 lakh crore that have accumulated on account of faulty lending practices and the absence of any effective recovery strategy of overdue loans from large corporate houses. The much publicized Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) process has also not succeeded in recovering NPAs and has rather resulted in substantial haircuts for the banks. The absence of strong penal action against the corporate fraudsters reflects the lack of political will on the part of the Union Government. The entire decision has caused deep resentment amongst the entire banking fraternity, which is likely to have an impact in the ensuing polls.

Against the above backdrop, as a responsible Trade Union representing the aspirations of over 3.20 lakh Bank Officers, we urge upon your good office to assess the genuine demands of the entire fraternity and take appropriate measures to address the issues in the right earnest.
With best regards,

Yours sincerely,
(Soumya Datta)
General Secretary
Mob – 9830044737

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Updation of Pension in RBI

Government of India notification dated 05.03.2019  approving Updation of basic pension of  pensioners who retired prior to November 2002 in Reserve Bank of India  is appended below