Delhi News

Andhra Pradesh: We will settle for nothing less than Old Pension Scheme, say employee outfits

Government’s proposal of rolling out ‘best pension plan’ does not cut any ice with them

Government’s proposal of rolling out ‘best pension plan’ does not cut any ice with them

Unimpressed by the proposal of “best pension plan” the government intends to put forth before them in the next three months, the Government Employees’ Associations in the State are trying to re-group and strengthen their position in the fight against implementation of the new pension scheme.

The government’s repeated efforts to break the stalemate have not yielded the desired result with the employees’ Joint Action Committee (JAC) representatives making it clear that they will come to the table only if the talks focus on discussing restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS).


The government, on the other hand, has been insisting that the choice be made between the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and the Guaranteed Pension Scheme (GPS), an upgraded form of the CPS with a few additional benefits.

In a counter to the government’s contention that OPS is financially unviable, the associations cite the cases of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh governments that have reinstated the OPS.

“Rajasthan has higher number of CPS employees (4.96 lakh) with highest holding of Assets Under Management (₹25,000 crore as on March 2020) among all States in the country, and yet it has reverted to the OPS and so has Chhattisgarh, which has nearly equivalent number of CPS employees as that of Andhra Pradesh. Delhi has also passed a resolution to restore OPS,” points out N. Prasad, general secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat Association.

Raising serious concern over the shortcomings of CPS, or the New Pension Scheme (NPS), the employees maintain that the government’s calculations are “unrealistic” and that implementation of OPS will not result in deduction of any money from the development expenditure of the State and welfare of its people.

Options given by Tucker panel

An expert committee constituted in 2019 by the State government on CPS headed by former Chief Secretary S.P. Tucker recommended two options. First, to revert to the OPS, which would be the prerogative of the State government and the second, to introduce an upgraded version of CPS facilitating pension almost on a par with OPS.

But the government has thrown its hands up on account of “serious financial constraints,” and the Group of Ministers, comprising Botcha Satyanarayana, Buggana Rajendranath Reddy and A. Suresh, Ministers of Education, Finance and Municipal Administration respectively, have come up with the GPS, which offers guaranteed pension (an assured income of 33% of last basic pay), health security that will give health insurance coverage under Employees Health Scheme (EHS), 60% of the guaranteed pension towards family security under family pension, a minimum of ₹10,000 under minimum pension, and a cover of up to ₹50 lakh towards family security under life insurance.

The Ministers have been trying to convince the JAC leaders by assuring them that the government is ready to add more benefits such as employee health scheme (EHS), accidental death and disability cover (pre-retirement), family pension and minimum pension.

But the employees are nonchalant.

“The amount quoted towards pension offered by the government is fixed. The key components of Dearness Relief (DR) and fitment are being excluded. All the employee associations are on the same page as far as implementation of DR and fitment is concerned,” says AP CPS Udyogula Sangham State president M. Das, adding that even if the volume of pension is kept low, periodical increase should be considered to ensure employee wellbeing.

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