Plight of Pensioners

BY DR ALI AKBAR DHAKAN, KARACHI, SINDH

As usual this year also an increase of 15 percent has been announced in pension of all pensioners where as the same increase has also been proposed in the budget in the salaries of employees working in all organizations and departments.

For pensioner, this increase is calculated in the pensions fixed at the time of the retirement of employees which remain static and stagnant forever and thus they get a small chunk in their pensions where as in case of existing employees, their salaries are revised from time to time and therefore monthly salaries swell from Rs thousands to Rs Millions per month. For an example if the salary of an employee has reached to Rs 2 lac, due to frequent revision in pay scales, he would be lucky to get an increase of Rs. 30000 per month at the increase of 15 percent but on the contrary the pensioners will get the raise of only Rs, two thousand to four thousand to be calculated on their already fixed pension since their retirement as no increase or revision of pay scales is made in their salaries after their retirement.

Now in view of justice and equity in getting an equivalent increase in their pensions, they may also be allowed revision of pay scales when raised and recalculated their pensions on the basis of their revised pay scales made from year to year or time to time raising their salaries equivalent to the present pay scale of the same grade. In this way the pensioners will get the benefits of both the revision of pay scale and increase in their pensions reducing inequality and discrimination in the financial benefits received by the existing and the retired employees. Just as an instance in my case when I retired in Feb. 2000, Rs 65000 was my monthly salary in the then 7th grade of SBP pay scales but my pension was calculated at the half of my salary i.e., Rs. 33,000, where as pension rules allow the calculation of pension on the basis of the last pay drawn by an employee. Besides, at present 7th grade salary has swelled to Rs. 3-4 lacs on account of the frequent revision in the SBP pay scales since my retirement indicating a sky high gap in the financial benefits allowed to the existing and retired employees.

The chairman of the recently established pay commission is requested to kindly look into this discrimination gap of financial benefits received by the working and the retired employees and allow recalculation of pension on the basis of the revision of pay scales made from time to time.

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