Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) for Central Government Employees
( igecorner compilation )
- 1. Introduction:
- 2. Eligibility for Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS)
- 3. DOPT Instruction on Voluntary Retirement Scheme
- 4. Voluntary retirement under FR 56(k) – Special Provisions to Accept Notice
- 5. Voluntary retirement from persons suffering from disability
- 6. Special Voluntary Retirement Scheme for Surplus Central Government Employees
Government servants may retire from service voluntarily with pensionary benefits before attaining the age of superannuation under the following provisions of Fundamental Rules and CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972.
2. Eligibility for Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS)
|S.No||FR 56 (k)||FR 56(m)||Pension Rule 48 (1) (a)||Pension Rule 48 (A)|
|1||Eligibility||Group ‘A & B’ officers: |
i. Entered service before 35 years of ageii. Attained 50 years of age
Attained 55 years of age
|Group ‘C’ Officer not governed by any pension rules||All Government servants covered by|
CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972
|All Government servants covered by|
CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972
|2||Minimum service||None||30 Years||30 Years||20 Years|
|3||Notice Period||3 months||3 months||3 months||3 months|
|4||Acceptance||Automatic, if nonacceptance not|
conveyed before expiry of notice period
|Not required||Automatic, if nonacceptance not conveyed|
before expiry of notice period
|Acceptance required but acceptance presumed if|
nonacceptance not conveyed before expiry of notice period
|5||Grounds for non acceptance||Suspension||None||Suspension||Any ground|
3. DOPT Instruction on Voluntary Retirement Scheme
Department of Personnel & A.R (DPAR) released the Office Memorandum No. 25013/7/77 Estt.-(A) dated 26th August 1977 with the following instructions.
The following instructions will regulate the voluntary retirement of Central Government Servants pursuance of the Government decision on recommendations 59(1)
(i) Government servants who have put in not less than 20 years qualifying service may, by giving notice of three months in writing to the appointing authority, retire from service voluntarily. The scheme is purely voluntary the initiative resting with the Government servant himself. The Government does not have the reciprocal right to retire Government servant on its own, and or this scheme.
(ii) The benefit of retiring pension will be admissible to Government servant retiring under this scheme.
(iii) A notice of less than three months may also be accepted by the appointing authority in deserving cases, with the concurrence of the Ministry of Finance (Department of Expenditure).
(iv) If a Government servant retires under the Scheme of voluntary retirement while he is on leave not due, without returning to duty, the retirement shall take effect from the date of commencement of the leave not due and the leave salary paid in respect of such leave not due shall be recovered as provided in Rule 31 of the CCS (Leave) Rules, 1972.
(v) Before a Government servant gives notice of voluntary retirement with reference to these instructions, he should satisfy himself by means of reference to the appropriate administrative authority that he has, in fact, completed 20 years’ service qualifying for pension.
(vi) A notice of voluntary retirement may be withdrawn subsequently only with the approval of the appointing authority provided the request for such withdrawal is made before the expiry of the notice.
(vii) A notice of voluntary retirement given after completion of 20 years’ qualifying service will required acceptance by the appointing authority if the date of retirement on the expiry of the notice would be earlier than the date on which the Government servant concerned could have retired voluntarily under the existing rules applicable to him. ( e.g. FR 56(k), Rule 48 of the Pension Rules, Article 459(1) of SSRs or any other similar rules) such acceptance may be generally given in all cases except those (a) in which disciplinary proceedings are pending or contemplated against the Government servant concerned for the imposition of a major penalty and the disciplinary authority, having regard to the circumstances of the case, is of the view that the imposition of the penalty or removal or dismissal from service would be warranted in the case for (b) in which persecutions is contemplated or may have been launched in a Court of Law against the Government servant concerned. If it is proposed to accept the notice of voluntary retirement even in such cases, approval of the Minister-in¬charge should be obtained in regard to Group ‘A’ and Group ‘B’ Government servants and that of the Head of the Department in the cases of Group ‘C’ and Group ‘D’ Government servants. Even where the notice of voluntary retirement given by a Government servant requires acceptance by the appointing authority, the Government servant giving notice may presume acceptance and the retirement shall be effective in terms of the notice unless the competent authority issues an order to the contrary before the expiry of the period of notice.
(viii) While granting proportionate pension to a Government servant retiring voluntarily under this scheme, weightage of upto five years would be given as an addition to the qualifying service actually rendered by him. The grant, of weightage of upto five years will, however, subject to the following conditions:
a) The total qualifying service after allowing the weightage should not, in any event exceed 30 years’ qualifying service and
b) The total qualifying service after giving the weightage should not exceed the qualifying service which he would have had, if he had retired voluntarily at the lowest age/ minimum service limit applicable to him for voluntary retirement prescribed under FR 56(k) or article 459 (1) of the CSRs or Rule 48 of the CCS (Pension) Rules or any other similar rule applicable to him.
(a) If a Government servants who could be prematurely retired under FR 560)(1) or could have voluntarily retired under FR 56(k) seeks voluntary retirement under this scheme after he has attained the age of 47 years and has rendered 22 years of service, the weightage in pension would be limited only upto three years.
(b) If a Government servants who could be prematurely retired under FR 56 (j) (ii) or could have voluntarily retired under FR 56 (k) seeks voluntary retirement under this scheme after he has attained the age of 51 years and has rendered 24 years of service, the weightage in pension would be admissible upto four years.
(c) If a Government servants belonging to Group ‘C’ who could have voluntary retired under Rule 48 of the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 seeks voluntary retirement under this scheme after he has rendered 28 years of service and has attained the age of 48 years, the weightage in pension would be admissible upto five years.
(ix) The weightage given under this scheme will be only an addition to the qualifying service for purpose of pension and gratuity. It will not entitle of pension the Government servants retiring voluntarily to any additional fixation of pay for purposes of calculating the pension and gratuity which will be based on the actual emoluments calculated with reference to the date of retirement.
(x) The amount of pension to be granted after giving the weightage will be a subject to the provisions of Rule 6 of the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972. The pension will also be subject to the provisions of Rules 8 and 9 of these Rules.
(xi) The scheme of voluntary retirement under these orders will not apply to those who retire voluntarily under the provisions of Rule 29 of the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972.
(xii) The scheme of voluntary retirement under these orders will also not apply to those Government servants on deputation to autonomous bodies/ public undertakings etc. The absorption of Government servants on deputation to public undertakings/ autonomous bodies etc. in such autonomous bodies/ public undertakings etc. and the grant of retirement benefits to them in respect of their service under government will continue to be governed by the separate set of instructions issued by the Ministry of Finance in this regard.
(xiii) A Government servants giving notice of voluntary retirement may also apply, before the expiry of the notice, for the leave standing to his credit which may be granted to him to run concurrently with the period of notice. The period of leave, if any, extending beyond the date of retirement on expiry of notice but not extending beyond the date on which the Government servants should have retired on attaining the age of superannuation may be allowed as terminal leave as per Rule 39*6) of the CCS (Leave) Rules, 1972 .the leave salary for such terminal leave shall be payable in accordance with the provisions of the para 5 of Ministry of Finance (Department of Expenditure) O.M. No. 16(1)E-IV(A)/76 dated the 23.12.1976.
(xiv) Group ‘A’ Government servants retiring voluntarily under this scheme would continue to be subject to the provisions in the Pension Rules relating to post retirement commercial employment. However, in their cases, permission for the post retirement commercial employment will be granted more liberally than in the case of other Govt. servants retiring under the provisions of FR 56 or Rule 48 of the Pension Rules.
4. Voluntary retirement under FR 56(k) – Special Provisions to Accept Notice
The provisions of Fundamental Rule 56(k), 56(m) and Rule 48 of CCS(Pension) Rules, 1972 relating to acceptance of request of voluntary retirement have been revisited as per the Central Administrative Tribunal, Principal Bench judgement dated 4th August, 2010 in O.A.No.1600/2009 filed by Shri Gopal Singh Purohit Vs UOI & Others to bring them at par with each other.
The matter has ‘been examined in consultation with Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare and the Ministry of Law. FR 56(k) and 56 (m) have been amended vide Extra Ordinary Gazette Notification No. GSR 27(E), dated 17 January 2014. It shall be open to the appropriate authority to withhold permission to a Government servant who seeks to retire under FR 56(k) or 56 (m) in the following circumstances:
(i) If the Government servant is under suspension ; or
(ii) If a charge sheet has been issued and the disciplinary proceedings are pending; or
(iii) If judicial proceedings on charges which may amount to grave misconduct, are pending.
Explanation: For the purpose of this clause, judicial proceedings shall be deemed to be pending, if a complaint or report of a police officer, of which the Magistrate takes cognizance, has been made or filed in a criminal proceedings.
5. Voluntary retirement from persons suffering from disability
Department of Personnel and Training released the office memorandum F.No.25012/1/2015-Estt (A-IV) dated 19th May 2015 with the subject “Request for Voluntary retirement from persons suffering from disability – Supreme Court Order in Bhagwan Dass & Anr Vs Punjab State Electricity Board, (2008) 1 SCC 579”, in the said O.M following instruction provided.
Instances have come to notice where Government servants apply for voluntary retirement under various provisions like Rules 38, Rule 48 and 48A of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 or Rule 56 of the Fundamental Rule on account of hardships faced by them due to a disability, as they are unaware of the protection provided by the Section 47 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (PWD Act). Section 47 of the PWD Act, 1995 is reproduced below for reference:
“Non-discrimination in Government Employment-(1) No establishment shall dispense with, or reduce in rank, an employee who acquires a disability during his service.
Provided that, if an employee, after acquiring disability is not suitable for the post he was holding, could be shifted to some other post with the same pay scale and service benefits; provided further that if it is not possible to adjust the employee against any post, he may be kept on a supernumerary post until a suitable post is available or he attains the age of superannuation, whichever is earlier.
No promotion shall be denied to a person merely on the ground of his disability;
Provided that the appropriate Government may, having regard to the type of work carried on in any establishment, by notification and subject to such conditions, if any, as may be specified in such notification, exempt any establishment from the provisions of this section.
The issue had come up in Bhagwan Dass & Anr v / s Punjab State Electricity Board (2008) 1 SCC 579, decided by the Hon’ble Supreme Court where the employee who had during his service suffered from blindness, had applied for voluntary retirement. The Hon’ble Supreme court has observed that the Petitioner was not aware of any protection that the law afforded him and apparently believed that the blindness would cause him to lose his job, which was the source of livelihood of his family. In those circumstances, it was the duty of the superior officers to explain to him the correct legal position and to tell him about his legal rights.
Keeping in view the provisions of the Section 47 of the PWD Act, 1995 and the above mentioned judgement, it has been decided that whenever a Government servant seeks voluntary retirement citing medical grounds, or when the said notice has been submitted due to a disability, the administrative authorities shall examine as to whether the case is covered under Section 47 of PWD Act, 1995. In case the provisions are applicable, the Government servant shall be advised that he/ she has the option of continuing in service with the same pay scale and service benefits.
In case a disabled Government servant reconsiders his decision and withdraws the notice for voluntary retirement, his case shall be dealt with under the provisions of the Section 47 read with the DOPT OM dated 25 February 2015 mentioned above. If however, in spite of being so advised, such Government servant still wishes to take voluntary retirement, the request may be processed as per the applicable rule.
6. Special Voluntary Retirement Scheme for Surplus Central Government Employees
The features of the Special VRS for the employees declared surplus are as under:-
(a) All permanent employees rendered surplus irrespective of their age and qualifying service can opt for the scheme.
(b) An optee of Special VRS will be entitled to receive an ex-gratia’ amount equal to basic pay plus dearness allowance for the number of days worked out on the basis of length of service @ 35 days for each completed year and 25 days for each remaining year. For any part of a year, the number of days, for ex-gratia amount, will be worked out on the basis of 365 days in a year. The ex -gratia amount will be further subject to the following conditions:
i. total number of years to be counted for payment of ex-gratia will not exceed 33 years;
ii. No weightage of additional service will be given for the purpose of calculation of ex-gratia;
iii. The ex-gratia will be subject to a minimum of Rs.25000 or 250 days emoluments, whichever is higher;
iv. The ex-gratia amount should not exceed the sum of the basic pay plus DA that the employee would draw at the prevailing level for the balance of the period of service left before superannuation.
v. The ex-gratia amount will be paid in lump-sum;
vi. The ex-gratia amount upto Rs 5.00 lakhs will be exempted from Income Tax;
(c) A weightage of five years to the qualifying service shall be given under CCS (Pension-) Rules, 1972 to such permanent surplus employees who have rendered a minimum of 15 years of qualifying service on the date they are declared surplus. However, as provided in rule 29 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, the qualifying length of service after taking into account the aforesaid weightage should not be more than the service he would have rendered had he retired on the date of his superannuation.
(d) Encashment of Earned Leave accumulated in the date of relief as per CCS (Leave) Rules, 1972;
(e) Payment of savings element with interest in the Central Government Employees Group insurance Scheme as per rules;
(f) TA/DA as on retirement for self and family for settling down anywhere in India as per Travelling Allowance Rules;
(g) Group A officials opting for the special VRS will be exempted from the operation of rule 10 of the CCS (pension) Rules which stipulates previous sanction of the Government for accepting commercial employment.
3. Payment of ex-gratia to the employees declared surplus and opting for the special VRS within the specified three months period will be over and above the normal retirement entitlements under CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972.
4. The order of voluntary retirement in each case should clearly stipulate that the surplus post held by the retiring incumbent will stand abolished from the date of his/her voluntary retirement.
5. The Identification of surplus employees for the purpose of VRS would be guided by procedure given in item 3 of Annexure-I under the heading “Steps for Identification of Surplus staff” to the revised scheme of the disposal of personnel rendered, surplus due to reduction of establishment of Central Government Department/Offices notified vide Circular No 1/18/88-CS-III of DOPT dated 1 April 1989.
6. The permanent employees declared surplus will have to exercise option for special VRS within three months from the date he or she has been declared surplus in any Ministry /Department. Surplus employees presently on the Rolls of the Surplus Cell (Re-designated as the division of Retraining and Redeployment ) of the Department of Personnel & Training as on the date of this OM can also opt for special VRS within three months from this date.
7. In order to facilitate the maintenance of a close watch on the implementation of the scheme, all Ministries/Departments are required to submit quarterly returns to the Surplus Cell of Department of Personnel & Training that may be prescribed by that Cell.