An Overlook of OROP Scheme
• The Supreme Court recently upheld the Centre’s one rank, one pension (OROP) scheme for the armed forces.
• A Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud held, “We find no constitutional infirmity in the OROP principle as defined in the government’s communication of November 7, 2015, on the implementation of the pension scheme.”
How was the system earlier?
• Before implementation of OROP, the computation of pension was linked to the pay drawn by the personnel in a particular pay scale/ pay band at the time of his/her retirement.
• Pay scales are revised to the higher side generally on the recommendation of Pay Commissions.
• As such, the personnel retiring after the revision of the pay scales got more pension than those who had already retired. Hence, the gap remained in the pension of the past and present retirees
About the scheme:
• The Government accepted the ‘One Rank One Pension’ by way of its mention in the President’s address to both Houses of Parliament on 09.06.2014 after the constitution of 16th Lok Sabha and an allocation of ₹ 1000 crore was provided in the Budget 2014-15 for implementation of OROP
• Government of India took the historic decision to implement OROP by issuing order on 07.11.2015. Armed Forces Personnel retired up to 30.06.2014 were covered under this Order.
• OROP implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces Personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service regardless of their date of retirement.
• Thus, OROP implies bridging the gap between the rate of pension of the current pensioners and the past pensioners at periodic intervals
Salient features of OROP order were as under:
I. Pension of past pensioners would be re-fixed on the basis of pension of retirees of calendar year 2013 and the benefit will be effective from 01.07.2014
II. Pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners on the basis of the average of minimum and maximum pension of personnel retired in 2013 in the same rank and with same length of service.
III. Pension for those drawing above average shall be protected.
IV. Arrears will be paid in four equal half yearly instalments. However, all the family pensioners including those in receipt of Special/Liberalized family pension and Gallantry award winners shall be paid arrears in one instalment.
V. Pension would be re-fixed every 5 years
Source: THE HINDU