New Delhi: In a significant move, the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) has initiated proposals to increase the retirement age of officers and also cut down the pension of officers opting for Premature Retirement (PMR).
The issue has evoked severe criticism as the pension formula will change in a manner which could impact the financial position of those retiring now.
The DMA, headed by General Bipin Rawat, is the newly created entity under the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and is tasked for HR and coordination issues between the Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force (IAF).
A letter sent out by the DMA office on October 29 says a draft of the Government Sanction Letter (GSL) is being readied by November 10 for review by General Rawat, who is the Secretary of the DMA and also the Chief of Defence Staff.
This letter proposes to increase the retirement age of Colonels, Brigadiers and Maj Generals to 57 years, 58 years and 59 years, respectively.
The same will apply to officers of similar ranks in the Navy and the Indian Air Force.
The existing retirement age for Colonels, Brigadiers and Maj Generals is 54 years, 56 years and 58 years, respectively.
The DMA also noted that a large number of personnel were boarded out due to lesser vacancies and some service restrictions.
It said that at the same time, there were several specialists and super specialists who were trained for high skill jobs in the services who left the Services to work in other sectors.
“Such loss of high-skilled manpower results in void in the Services skill matrix and is counterproductive to the armed forces”, the letter said, adding that in view of this it had been decided to review the pension entitlements.
The pension is proposed to be reviewed in four slabs for PMR of personnel.
For 20-25 years of Service – 50 per cent of entitled pension; for 26-30 years of service – 60 per cent of entitled pension, for 31-35 years of service – 75 per cent of entitled pension and full pension for 35 years and above service.
“There will be no change of pension entitlements of battle casualties”, the letter said.