New Delhi : The department of military affairs (DMA) led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Bipin Rawat, has initiated a proposal to raise the retirement age of senior officers in the Army, Navy and Air Force. However, what has created a storm is another DMA proposal to cut the “entitled pension” of the officers in case of “premature release” (PMR) from the service.
As per a letter issued by the DMA, the proposal for increase in the age of retirement is under consideration. It said that the retirement of officers upto colonels will be increased to 57 years. At present, the retirement age of a colonel is around 54 years. It said the retirement age of brigadiers will be raised to 58 years from current 56 years, and of major-generals to 59 years from present 58 years. There will be similar increases in the retirement age in the Navy and Air Force for equivalent ranks. The retirement age of JCOs in the logistics, technical and medical branches will be 57 years. The letter said a draft Government Sanction Letter will be processed for the perusal of Gen. Rawat by November 10.
It said in case of “premature release” (PMR) from service, the “pension entitlement” of those in service for 20-25 years will be cut by 50 per cent. Those who had 26 to 30 years of service will get 60 per cent of their entitled pension and those with 31-35 years in service will get 75 per cent of the entitled pension in case of PMR. Only those with above 35 years of service will get a full pension. There will be no change in the pension entitlements of “battle casualties”.
The letter said there are several specialists and super-specialists who are trained for high-skilled jobs and they leave the service to work in other sectors. It said that the loss of such high-skilled manpower results in a void in the service skill matrix and is counterproductive. The move will also help to bring down the pension liability of the government. The Union Budget had allocated Rs 1.3 lakh crores for the pension of military personnel and civilian employees under the ministry of defence for the current financial year.