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Make short service lucrative, raise retirement age: CDS plan to reduce defence pensions

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat tells parliamentary panel that many steps are being actively considered for saving on the defence budget.

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New Delhi: Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Bipin Rawat has told a parliamentary panel that the armed forces are actively looking at several steps to reduce the burgeoning defence pensions, and saving on the defence budget.

The steps under consideration include greater employment of personnel on short service commission (SSC) by making it a lucrative career option, increasing the retirement age of services personnel, and “outsourcing” of some of the services provided by the armed forces to the private sector.

In a submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, Gen. Rawat said SSC personnel are employed for a particular time frame, and can be given attractive choices during the service tenure, such as college education and study leave. The personnel can use these to educate themselves, and then retire from service with a lump-sum amount, which would reduce the forces’ pension liabilities.

The report of the parliamentary committee was presented in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on 13 March.

The total defence budget in the current financial year stands at Rs 4.71 lakh crore, of which pensions constitute 28 per cent of the defence ministry’s overall expenditure.


Also read: Ready to operate beyond mandate to fight the pandemic: CDS Bipin Rawat


A long-pending reform

Making the SSC a lucrative career option has been among the long-pending reforms in the Army in particular.

As of now, only officers have the option of joining the armed forces on SSC. They retire at the end of their 14-year tenure with a gratuity amount. Many of them, however, opt for permanent commission at the end of their tenure.

Jawans, sailors and airmen retire after a certain number of years at the services with full pension, which varies between 15 and 20 years, depending on the force.

A senior defence officer told ThePrint that the Army has been working on making the SSC more lucrative to attract talent.

“Reducing the service limit from 14 years to a more realistic one, allowing study leave towards the end of the service, giving a suitable lump-sum amount on retirement beyond the existing gratuity and signing agreement with prominent institutions for higher education of personnel are some of the steps being discussed,” the officer said.


Also read: Wide variation in disability pensions of jawans, officers creating ‘heartburn’: CDS Rawat


On increasing retirement age

Gen. Rawat also told the standing committee that he will hopefully come to a decision, along with the three service chiefs, on increasing the retirement age of service personnel.

“If we can increase the retirement age, automatically the pension budget goes down,” he told the panel.

Rawat, however, added that it is being examined who all can serve in this “extended period”.

“We have identified some areas where this extension can happen. We have asked the services to identify more,” he said.

The CDS added that the intention is to initially make 30 per cent of service personnel serve till the extended age, which will be 58 or 60 years of age.

In an interaction with a group of journalists in February, Gen. Rawat had said the retiring age of defence services personnel, particularly below the rank of officers, should be raised to 58, from the current 37-38, to optimise their services and cut down on the increasing defence pensions.

Other ways to save on defence budget

Rawat also told the parliamentary panel that “jointsmanship” and integration of the defence forces will also lead to saving on the defence budget, as work can be outsourced.

“…A lot of issues that we are now doing from within our own sources can be outsourced,” he said.

“It is through increasing the service span, looking at jointness in seeing that we can optimise resources, and third is seeing how we can outsource some of our services to the private sector, that we intend to save the budget and then use it for modernisation,” he said.

On rationalising manpower in the forces, Gen. Rawat told the panel that while the need for manpower cannot be done away with, the use of technology is being examined.

“In some of the areas, we are trying to make sure that some of the logistic units can be brought down in size….We have almost collapsed a large part of our Army Postal Service; we have given it to the P&T Department to move our post. We are closing down our military farms. We have started closing down some of our workshops in peace stations where we feel it can be outsourced,” he told the panel, adding that there are other proposals in the pipeline.

Speaking to ThePrint, a second senior defence officer said there is no “quickfire solution” to reducing the pension budget, and that it needs to be done gradually in a focussed and planned manner. “After all it’s the security of the ‘active borders’ that the CDS spoke about,” this officer said.

“Increasing pensionable service, increasing age of retirement, increasing SSC officers, gradual reduction in force strengths, outsourcing non-combat jobs, increasing percentage of commutation of pension etc. are all factors that are being vigorously pursued towards rationalisation of the pension budget,” the officer added.


Also read: Not media, CDS Rawat should be talking to military chiefs about India’s defence reform


 

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36 COMMENTS

  1. What lucrative ??? You are sending short service commission officers (only males) in Kashmir for AntiTERR0rist operations. A short service officer is not better trained than NDA IMA passouts who have undergone better training and also would get promotion till General rank. Brainless people taking selfish decisions. Why don’t you send your women who take same salary as men and claim to be better combatants ?

  2. What lucrative ??? You are sending short service commission officers (only males) in Kashmir for AntiTERRorist operations. A short service officer is not better trained than NDA IMA passouts who have undergone better training and also would get promotion till General rank. Brainless people taking selfish decisions. Why don’t you send your women who take same salary as men and claim to be better combatants ?

  3. Do away with JCO promotion, like being followed in many Countries, the nxt rank on promotion after Havaldar and equivalent should be a Lieutenant and equivalent.

    The dream for most of the Personnel below officer rank in all the three Services is to become an Officer, by providing them a better training , by providing them a chance to achieve their dream and thereby providing them a better career, the defence services can retain the better personnel with them. This will stop the brain drain from the Services, reduce the shortage of Officers in the Services and increase the camaraderie within the Services.

    But ofcourse our Service officers should come out of their British Raj mentality to do this.

    • Anyone can become officers by giving nda… Why should jawans become officers.. I don’t get.. Next you ll say police personnel should become ias officer.. Its not British mindset…. Merely getting into army bcoz of physical stamina and thinking of becoming officers..

      • Why not? There should be time scale upto a rank.
        Do you want to use Havaldar and his family for polishing shoes of your family. It is being done still.
        Which army let’s its jawans polish officers shoes and do fatigue like buying veggies for wife , take children to school?
        The mindset has to change.

  4. This CDS is works continuously to please the Govt since incumbent. Permanent Officers, no problem. SSC Offrs, while leaving, they will be given lucrative benefits, and PERSONNEL BELOW OTHER RANKS are again about to be screwed by increasing their compulsory service age so that they won’t be worth anything outside defence purview. During service PBORs are neither given any opportunity to increase their educational qualification rather discouraged, the situation which is exactly opposite with Officers. Why can’t CDS urge to create a better environment so that PBORs automatically don’t leave service. No one join service to leave…..rather prevailing environment and slavery in service compel them to leave. It’s just like not to save our Earth instead finding a new one to spoil. Bastards.

  5. Name.Abhijit dhali Qualifications.H.s ami Army ta gata chay sir amr Hite 5.5 bola gata pari nye pls amr mayna ditahaba na army dass ta pora akbr. Kichu korar babosta kota din sir pls

  6. Pensions of army , railways, MP , MLA, IAS, IPS is burdon on taxpayers.
    Lakhs of rupees pensions after 60 is not needed ,for MP and MLA just in 5 yerars……and they are assets for their kids who are enjoying parents pension, and this was not the purpose of pension. Just for votebank govt. Has done this which next generation will suffer.

  7. Pensions of army , railways, MP , MLA, IAS, IPS is burdon on taxpayers. Lakhs of rupees pensions after 60 is not needed ,for MP and MLA just in 5 yerars……and they are assets for their kids who are enjoying parents pension, and this was not the purpose of pension. Just for votebank govt. Has done this which next generation will suffer.

  8. Pensions of army , railways, MP , MLA, IAS, IPS is burdon on taxpayers. Lakhs of rupees pensions after 60 is not needed ,for MP and MLA just in 5 yerars……and they are assets for their kids who are enjoying parents pension, and this was not the purpose of pension. Just for votebank govt. Has done this which next generation will suffer.

  9. The CDS is limited to generalities and common words. Some activities, he says, have to be outsourced. Why not? But you have to be careful. Very careful. We are currently seeing what the outsourcing of certain activities has led to. A CDS should think outside the box: privatization may not be the panacea. Unless you want to imitate foreign models. Perhaps you should start by having an overview of the forces involved in the security of the country. Such a reflection cannot be limited to only the military forces coming under the MOD. It is from this reflection that the revolution in the country’s military affairs could be envisaged!

    • CDS is talking what? Does he understand the 3 years in army service and thereafter unemployed people will become grave threat to the country if only a fraction of them joins ANEs. Becoz in 3 years these less trained and moulded people will become robust and rogue. Instead let the army be as it is.

  10. Why doesn’t this idiot talk about Defence Civilians who are 12 to 13% of the Strength of Min of Def employees but account for 32% of the Pension Budget. They draw all Perks including Canteen Facilities without facing any of the dangers and rigours of Army Service. This man is a Traitor to his own Uniformed Corpsmen

  11. Do look after the veterans and disabled.they gave their best to the nation .OROP etc forgotten.ECHS should be friendly to all veterans.
    Taxing disabled soldiers is a bad idea.even civilians don’t like this.
    PM Modiji should defend the disabled.he has favoured Divyangjans always.Rajnath ji is another stalwart.they should look at the veterans in a humane manner.personally not impressed with CDS.hope Gen Narwane does something and CAS and CNS.

  12. Since the time he took over as the COAS, he has been bending backwards to please the politicians and bureaucracy. His focus from the first day was on revealing to the country what a moth eaten ,rotten,corrupt set of Officers he commands and how all the well established systems of the Army are actually pathetic. Point to be noted,if that be the case he was also churned out of such a corrupt system to be the head of the greedy useless men he commanded. That’s why perhaps all that he has done being in that position of influence is to create post retirement cushy job prospects for himself. He was one such chief who never ever thought of the welfare of his Officers and troops..as he was too busy keeping the bureaucracy and politicians happy by allowing them to ruin the Army. In matters where he should have stood with the veterans like OROP and Disability pensions,he stood against them to show his allegiance with the politicians. When Army wives spoke against the opening of cantonement roads for civilian movement citing security concerns, he gave a deaf ear to them..as if it doesn’t matter at all. Once again he is on the path to ravage this institution. God help the country and our army where such selfish ,self centered people become leaders.

  13. Gen Ghosh sir ka planed very good for future state police ko ya Delhi police or Railway police in duty of Railways because this is central government in sabhi ko young jawan transfer karne per Government ka traning ka expensive bachega or service bhi 58 year ho jayegi life bhi safe or experience bhi state me kam aayega

  14. CDS chief is post of no use is joined hands with central government. Where decisions are made only by Defence secretary.I think for this project only he is appointment.
    Can he solve the OROP which is raised from last 25yrs back.
    I would draw your attention on ECHS facility. It is pathetic. Ex servicemen has become laughing stock to the entire nation

  15. Army person ki service ki 58 sal Tak hona chahie, jisse ki vah apni life mein Apne bacchon Ko Puri tarah set kar sake, Jo Jawan service nahin karna chahta hun 20 sal ke bad pension ja sakta hai, CDS ka yah bahut acche nirnay hai, kyunki 37 sal mein pension aane ke bad har EK Jawan ko to achcha job milta nahin hai, isase achcha to yahi hai ki vah Apne Puri service centre mein Karen,

  16. CDS and his subordinates should work to ensure to that every defense personnel should be paid pension for each five years service rendered just like each MLA or MP is being paid.

  17. The CDS is playing into the hands of the bureaucracy. He is a weak man – treacherous to put it straight. Sad!

    • Since the time he took over as the COS, he has been bending backwards to please the politicians and bureaucracy. His focus from the first day was on revealing to the country what a moth eaten ,rotten,corrupt set of Officers he commands and how all the well established systems of the Army are actually pathetic. Point to be noted,if that be the case he was also churned out of such a corrupt system to be the head of the greedy useless men he commanded. That’s why perhaps all that he has done being in that position of influence is to create post retirement cushy job prospects for himself. He was one such chief who never ever thought of the welfare of his Officers and troops..as he was too busy keeping the bureaucracy and politicians happy by allowing them to ruin the Army. In matters where he should have stood with the veterans like OROP and Disability pensions,he stood against them to show his allegiance with the politicians. When Army wives spoke against the opening of cantonement roads for civilian movement citing security concerns, he gave a deaf ear to them..as if it doesn’t matter at all. Once again he is on the path to ravage this institution. God help the country and our army where such selfish ,self centered people become leaders.

    • Why doesn’t this idiot talk about Defence Civilians who are 12 to 13% of the Strength of Min of Def employees but account for 32% of the Pension Budget. They draw all Perks including Canteen Facilities without facing any of the dangers and rigours of Army Service. This man is a Traitor to his own Uniformed Corpsmen

      • Very true.. Defense civilians are joke.. They live lucrative life and njoy all army facilities……no risk, no torture, no physical and mental fatigues… Address this first

  18. Induction of more SSCO’S to keep profile of leadership young,but you must concede:-
    1.second career assurance,counting of Army service towards seniority and pension in Para military,CISF,BSF ,PS Banks etc.
    2.Reservation in Armed ForcesEdn Institution to children, 100 %ECHS facilty to spouses,children,club facility,proportionate pension to SSCOS,must be considered ,failing talented youth shall not join.
    –Increasing Age of Retirement of JAWANS,JCOS,may not be implemented
    InFighting Arms,let them retire young,induct such trained manpower in DSC,CISF,ITBP,CISF,State policeforce,Railway Police etc
    Don’t compromise with the security of country,we need able bodies to fight three frontal wars
    -Pakistan
    -China
    -terrorists

  19. “Pandemic Disaster Contingency”, should be as different subject with MOF now onwards and studied with partial implementation on various issues for future fund crunch.

  20. 1. The eligibility age for pension should be increased,
    2. Reservation for the ex-servicemen quota should also be looked into.
    3

    5. If you consider the increase in age of Armed Forces, there is difference between the civil employee and defence personn
    8. If you retire a Senior you can engage half a dozen young people in service and solve the unemployment problem also.
    9.Therefore, think twice thrice and a study from the developed States should be made with a High Level Committee.

  21. 1. The eligibility age for pension should be increased,
    2. Reservation for the ex-servicemen quota should also be looked into.
    3. The reason for the earlier retirement age 37 or 38 years was fixed by the British Regime is much thought of, keeping in mind the health,. Increase in family burden, etc.
    4. If you continue the services of Senior person, you have to see for his promotional evenue, should create more and more higher posts.
    5. If you consider the increase in age of Armed Forces, there is difference between the civil employee and defence personnel.
    6. The medical burden would definitely be increased in many folds in case the retirement age has been increased not only for the self but also to his family members too, as from 38 years onwards the health problems would be starting age.
    7. Countries may be given us a name as “Budhee Armed Forces”, not useful for Battle.
    8. If you retire a Senior you can engage half a dozen young people in service and solve the unemployment problem also.
    9.Therefore, think twice thrice and a study from the developed States should be made with a High Level Committee.

  22. He is one the road to spoil an already well functioning organization. Cursing the day when his seniors given him good chits to bring him to this level. I pray Corona Virus to take a note.

  23. Short Service Officers at the end of 14 years do not retire. They struggle to find a new life. Try to shed the baggage from the past decade and half of service to the nation. Many of them dealing with combat stress and trauma. But instead of a shoulder to rest their heads, they suddenly find the head above their shoulder being a burden.

    Finding a new career at the age of 38 competing with 21-24 year olds fresh out of Colleges, B- Schools. That’s like Arnab Goswami leaving his editorial position and starting off again as a reporter. Not that he ever really grew up to be one in the first place.

  24. As far as the extension of service to the JCOs and ORs will leads lot of health oriented problems considering the service at High Altitude areas which will hamper their health problems and the existing terms and conditions are to be followed. However the officers can be given extension of service as they are provided with star hotel range of facilities in the defence Forces

  25. RESPECTED CDS SIR, YOU ARE GIVING GREAT IDEAS BUT SIR WHY YOU ARE NOT ALLOWING SSC TO JAWANS, SO THE THE PBOR CAN ALSO BE FEEL BETTER, AT PRESENT APPROX 10 LAKH PBOR IN ARMY IF YOU PROVIDE SSC THEN YOUR MONEY WILL BE SAVE FOR MODERNISATION

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