Tuesday, April 24, 2012



Almost every evening I see some retired veterans ranting and raving during discussions and debates on TV Channels about ONE RANK ONE PENSION.

Frankly speaking, I really don’t understand what this hullabaloo about ONE RANK ONE PENSION is all about – to me the whole thing is quite confusing. I have asked many of my retired colleagues but no one has been able to explain to me as to how it going to benefit all of us, especially those who had to retire from service on attaining the age of superannuation without attaining high ranks.

In the civil services you have ASSURED CAREER PROGRESSION or ACP.

Civilian government servants retire at the age of 60 and are assured of reaching a certain rank by the time they superannuate. So they get a handsome pension.

In the Defence Forces you have ASSURED CAREER SUPERSESSION or ACS.

Owing to the steep pyramidal hierarchical structure a vast majority of defence personnel are superseded for promotion at an early age and have to retire very early in life since the age of superannuation is dependent on rank, unlike their civilian counterparts who uniformly superannuate at the age of 60 irrespective of rank.

Will someone kindly to explain as to the how the one-rank-one-pension concept will benefit all the soldiers and officers irrespective of rank. Unfortunately there is a perception that this will mainly benefit the senior officers and not the junior officers and soldiers. This perception needs to be corrected and only then will everyone be convinced.

Regrettably, despite the poor promotion prospects in the services, pay has been linked to rank and since it is difficult to get promoted the service officer is put at a monetary disadvantage vis-à-vis his civilian counterpart.

In order to alleviate this problem of career-stagnation due to poor promotion prospects in the services, the 4th Pay Commission introduced an Integrated Pay Scale (Running Pay Band) upto the rank of Brigadier and equivalent. This concept had worked very well and should have been extended to senior ranks.

This Running Pay Band Scheme, introduced by the 4th Pay Commission, was an excellent concept. Since the Integrated Pay Scale was de-linked from rank it offered equitable prospects to all officers and offered a recompense to those who could not be promoted due to lack of vacancies (owing to the steep hierarchical pyramid) but continued serving the nation.

This excellent Running Pay Band Concept (in lieu of Assured Career Progression) was mysteriously abolished by the 5th Pay Commission for reasons that are inexplicable and unfathomable.

If this Integrated Pay Scale concept is brought back then pension will be rightly decided on years of service (and not on rank attained) and this will automatically obviate the need for one-rank-one-pension.

I feel that the one-rank-one-pension concept is not fair to the superseded officers, who are in a vast majority, and will benefit only the senior officers. In my opinion, pension must be decided on the number of years an officer has served the nation.

However, as I said, I may be wrong as I have not fully understood this issue. I shall be grateful if some knowledgeable veteran could explain to us as to how one-rank-one-pension will truly benefit all of us, especially those officers and soldiers who retired on superannuation, after a long dedicated service to the nation, without having the good fortune to reach high rank.

As I said earlier, there is a perception that the one-rank-one-pension concept will mainly benefit the senior officers and not the junior officers and soldiers. This perception needs to be corrected and only then will everyone be convinced.


C Shivashankar said...

Good day Sir,simply put, one rank one pension as I understood is that if you retired as a commander after 15yrs of service in 2000 and there is a commander who retires in 2010 after 15yrs of service, you both should be drawing same pension, which is not the case now, the argument is both commanders should be monetarily benefited equally after their retirement so that they lead the same kind of life.

C Shivashankar.

Captain Awesome said...

I am not much aware of this issue, but its a fact that armed forces are the most ignored group in our country. Most surprisingly, civilians also have a lot of misconceptions about them. Other countries take utmost care of their soldiers and we care for them the least. Recent controversy around Army chief is another example.
Hope this issue gets resolved in positive manner.
Towers and Shadows

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Shankar - Thanks for the explanation. i hope it is so.
@ Captain Awesome - You are absolutely right about the armed forces being the most ignored group and there are a lot of misconceptions which need to be cleared.


It is wonderful some enlightened have been drawn the attention by hue and cry of veteran soldiers.
A short cut about lower ranks pension disparity -an example a Havildar retiring on 31 December,2005 gets rupees 4000 (round figure), and a Havildar with same amount of service of same skill trade is given rupees 7000 if retired next day -retired 01 Jan,2006. This is mockery and disheartening seniors, who must have been giving training of military culture and strategies to the juniors (future retirees).

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Hi Gurdip,
Thank you for your clear elaboration of the disparity which needs to be corrected. You have brought out how just one day matters.
I only hope One Rank One Pension benefits all the soldiers and junior/mid-ranking officers whose pensions are quite low due to early retirement age. There is a perception that one rank one pension will benefit senior officers much more than others.

Bharat said...

There is a primer on One Rank One Pension.


Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Bharat - Than you so much for the primer on One Rank One Pension which will benefit all to understand the concept better

Vikram Waman Karve said...

After reading the primer I understood that defence personnel lose out due to early retirement ages as compared to their civilian counterparts. This can be corrected by giving a pension considering as if the defence personnel has served till the age of 60 in all cases of superannuation (and not premature retirement). This may alleviate the disparity to some extent.

sl said...

The only way to flesh out this not so straight-forward concept of OROP is to peel away layer after layer constituting the idea, or follow link from hyperlink, starting with this one I came actoss recently.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Thanks sunlit for the new perspective. Yes, it is quite a confusing matter.

Tukaram V Manerajurikar said...

Dear Konerusir,
Please see PIB release below.
Will it be helpful if announced o 15.08.2012 by PM on Lalkila.Whether any chance of announcement. I am thinking of giving withdrawal from family pension from Defence Side before my VRS in Oct, 2012, so I can receive my civil pension within 5-6 months after VRS. Please guide me suitably.
Yours faithfully

Tukaram V Manerajurikar said...

Why no reply/comments to my query as it weas not addressed to you or I am not Commissioned Officer.
Yours faithfully
Tukaram V Manerajurikar

Tukaram V Manerajurikar said...

Why no reply/comments to my query as it weas not addressed to you or I am not Commissioned Officer.
Yours faithfully
Tukaram V Manerajurikar

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Dear Tukaram,
This is just a blog.
For specific details please contact your bank or pension disbursement authority. State Bank of India will be able to guide you better in this matter.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

After reading the comments and also other information on the subjects, I feel that ONE RANK ONE PENSION (OROP) will chiefly benefit senior officers who have retired earlier. Length of service should be the basic criterion for amount of pension and not rank. I feel that pension must be delinked from rank and given on years of service, especially since defence services do not have ASSURED CAREER PROGRESSION (ACP) like civil services and also defence service personnel have the disadvantage of early retirement age as compared to their civilian counterparts.
Also why should a Colonel who took voluntary retirement after 20 years of service get more pension than a Lt Col who continued serving till superannuation and completed 33 years of service? Whatever step is taken must benefit the large majority of ex-servicemen and not mainly senior officers.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

OROP aka ONE RANK ONE PENSION has been announced. But there seems to some confusion. Looks like only Lt Generals will benefit by being put in HAG Scale and junior officers and soldiers will not benefit much. Can someone please clear the confusion and tell us the exact implications.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Someone said that a letter has been issued but it is confusing.
The best solution is to delink pension from rank and decide the pension based on the number of years of service.
A serviceman who has served the nation longer till superannuation (despite not getting promoted) must get more pension than someone who takes premature retirement after getting a higher rank.
Loyalty must be rewarded more than ambition.

Gexton said...

In the civil services you have ASSURED CAREER PROGRESSION or ACP thats a great explanation keep the good work
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