Wednesday, April 29, 2015


OROP IMBROGLIO – Simple Solution

Ramblings of a Military Veteran

In the Armed Forces – pay has traditionally been linked to rank.

In the 1980’s – the Armed Forces appreciated that it was not practicable to enhance the percentage of higher ranks given the steep pyramid hierarchy required for command and control in the Defence Services.

This meant that very few could be promoted to higher ranks – and most officers would be “passed over” and superseded for promotion and would retire at lower ranks (and at a younger age too).

Supersession is a fact of life in the Armed Forces.

And – since pay and pension was linked to rank – most officers are at a great monetary disadvantage for no fault of theirs.

In order to mitigate this – the 4th Pay Commission introduced the “Integrated Pay Scale” upto the Rank of Brigadier (Running Pay Band from 2nd/Lt to Brigadier: 2300 – 100 – 5100).

This “integrated pay scale” (or “running pay band”) worked well to give equitable pay to superseded officers and, to a certain extent, it helped mitigate the loss of morale due to supersession.

It is understood that the Defence Services had proposed to extend this “integrated pay scale” concept to all ranks right upto the top ranks of General/Admiral/Air Chief Marshal.

However, going by some specious logic, the 5th Pay Commission abolished this “running pay band” concept altogether – and we were back to square one where your rank determined your pay.

While abolishing this excellent “integrated pay scale” concept – the Pay Commission rubbed salt in the wounds of superseded officers by not giving Armed Forces the benefits of the Assured Career Progression (ACP) and Non-Functional Upgradation (NFU/NFFU) which were enjoyed by the civil services.

Since pension is based on “last pay drawn” – the problem of OROP will disappear of the concept of “integrated pay scale” is re-introduced for the Armed Forces.

The “integrated pay scale” can be applied with retrospective effect.

As per the “running pay band” – your Retirement Pay will be determined by your total years of service  which in turn will determine your pension.

This is a fair, ethical and equitable concept – rather than linking pension to rank alone.

“One Rank One Pension” (OROP) concept is unfair  since it links Pension to Rank.

OROP will mainly benefit High Ranking Officers.

Should “length of service” not be given more importance than rank while computing pension?

Who deserves more pension:– 

A Colonel with 35 years of service – or a Brigadier with 25 years of service…?

After retirement – financial needs are the same for military veterans.

It is logical, equitable and ethical to give pay and pension based on the years of active service rendered in the armed forces.

If the “integrated pay scale” concept of 4th Pay Commission is implemented by 7th Pay Commission for the Armed Forces – and given retrospective effect for the purpose of computing pension – then the OROP issue will automatically be solved – and also – it will be fair and equitable to all retired military veterans including superseded officers.

So – the simplest solution and panacea for the OROP imbroglio is to re-introduce the “integrated pay scale” concept of 4th Pay Commission.

If government wants the OROP problem to disappear – then all the government has to do is to re-introduce the “running pay band” concept of 4th Pay Commission for the Armed Forces in the 7th Pay Commission and give retrospective effect for the purpose of computing pension of defence personnel and military veterans.

Do you agree?

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