25th July 2020
To all Units, Affiliates, Office Bearers, CC & GC Members
Improvement of Family Pension and Updation/Revision of Pension
We have written a letter to the IBA Chief Executive today on the captioned subject. Text of the letter is appended below which is self explanatory.
(Debasish Basu Chaudhury)
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TEXT OF THE LETTER TO THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF IBA
A Minute has been signed on 22nd July 2020 between IBA representing Management of banks which are parties to the 11th Bipartite Settlement and Workmen Unions and Officers’ Associations on wage revision. We like to draw your attention on the following issues.
Improvement of family pension
We came across a Tweet posted on behalf of Chief Executive, IBA on 22.07.2020 (assuming that the referred Twitter handle is not a fake one) where it was written inter alia, “Today IBA & UFBU have signed an MoU for 15% increase in pay slip component of Bank Employees, in Principal agreement to remove cap & offer 30% of Basic Pay as family Pension,….”. (Emphasis made by us)
We may recall that on 22nd July 2020, the Chairman of Indian Banks’ Association appeared in the discussion and stated that IBA agreed in principle to enhance the Family Pension to 30% without ceiling. IBA Chairman also said that IBA is pursuing the matter in right earnest with the Govt. of India to get the same approved. We suggested incorporation of version of IBA stating in principle agreement to enhance family pension to 30% without ceiling subject to Govt approval in the MOU. But that was not done.
Now, we are observing some reports claimed to have been issued on the contents of the discussion; where it was mentioned that increase of family pension to 30% has been agreed on 22nd July 2020. Some communications/ circulars are also available where it has been claimed that, Govt. has agreed to increase family pension from 15% to 30% without ceiling.
We understand that the status narrated by the IBA Chairman on 22nd July 2020 is factual which means approval of Govt. of India towards proposed increase will be obtained in due course. Further, during the meeting of the Negotiation Committee held on 29th February 2020 the IBA informed that the recommendation for improvement of family pension had been sent to the Govt. for necessary approval.
Now, the language of the above mentioned Tweet tagging ‘in principle agreement’ with the MoU signed on 22nd July 2020 and the reports as well as the communications/circulars issued that the Govt. has already agreed are creating impression amongst the bank employees and retirees that all formalities for improvement of family pension has been completed.
Had such been the situation, we feel that, it certainly would have found a place in the Minutes signed on 22nd July 2020. Now, the Indian Banks’ Association should come out with a statement narrating prevailing situation regarding improvement of family pension. Moreover, with such communications, expectations have developed within the minds of the hapless family pensioners, many of whom are living in financially distressed condition. We strongly urge upon you to take all necessary initiatives to obtain the approval from the Govt. of India at the earliest; before the finalisation of 11th Bipartite Settlement.
Updation/Revision of pension
You may recall that during the negotiation, continuing for more than 3 years now, the IBA negotiating team had been informing the Unions/Associations that updation/revision of pension require huge amount of fund.
During the course of negotiation, the Unions/Associations, time and again, requested for sharing relevant data for necessary actuarial calculation. It was also suggested that there may be joint actuarial exercise similar to that done during another option for pension. On 5th Dec. 2019, the IBA agreed to share data with the actuary recommended by UFBU. But no data was shared with the UFBU by IBA till date, as assured.
On 29th Feb. 2020, IBA agreed that some improvement in the Pension would be worked out for the retirees of earlier settlements period by working out the cost. It was also stated that revision, in some form, would be implemented in phases.
In subsequent period, this agenda wasn’t dealt for further progress. In the last round of negotiation on 22nd July 2020, IBA negotiating team formally discussed only on the load factor keeping all other issues aside.
You’ll certainly appreciate that since revision of pension took place in Reserve Bank of India, the pensioners have become elated expecting extension of similar benefits in IBA member banks also.
In the mean time, the retirees Associations, besides approaching all concerned for revision of pension, collected bank-wise data from different sources including through Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005. We are informed that one such Retiree Federation collected data from different member banks (except a very few who did not respond to the notice served, for reasons best known to them) as on 31.03.2017 and 31.03.2018 under RTI Act, 2005 and forwarded to you last year for having actuarial exercise to ascertain the cost involvement for revision of pension as per formula adopted in RBI.
It is fact that, despite assurances given to the Unions/Associations during the course of negotiation, the IBA did not share any data for actuarial calculation. We are already having experience of difference between hypothetical data and actuarial data during the exercise on another option for pension in 2009.
We believe that pension is a social security. We also feel that revision of pension should not be considered in terms of financial liability. The sanctity of bilateral negotiation is of utmost importance to us. With this understanding, we strongly demand to initiate joint actuarial exercise immediately to ascertain cost involvement for updation/revision of pension as per formula of RBI, so that discussion on this subject can be taken forward before finalisation of 11th Bipartite Settlement.
Awaiting your early response on the subject matter.
Source : https://www.befi.in/