Kolkata: Public sector bank employees have knocked at the doors of Prime Minister’s Office renewing their long-pending demand for pension update. They have raised the pitch following the government’s decision to clear the pension issues for Reserve Bank of India earlier this year.
The employees have been demanding pension update as part of their bipartite wage talks with the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), which represents bank management, but it has always been turned down.
IBA has pegged the cost of updating pension in PSBs at Rs 95,000 crore and said that banks, which have been under severe stress with mounting bad loans, won’t be able to handle this burden.
Pension for PSB employees has not been updated since 1996, union members alleged.
“We seek your help in resolving our pension issues. The basic fact is that pension scheme in PSBs is exactly the same as RBI pension scheme, with similar rules & regulations,” bank employees union flag bearers said in a letter addressed to Nripendra Misra, principal secretary to the Prime Minister.
The government had initially refused to budge to RBI employees’ demand, stating contingent effect resulting in similar demands from public sector banks. “But RBI pension has been updated with effect from March 1 this year — this is our demand also,” they said.
The financial cost of updating pension in RBI is Rs 858 crore while the central bank’s pension corpus is about Rs 12,000 crore. Now, RBI pensioners are entitled to get a notional rise of 10% plus dearness allowance with each of the three wage revisions in 2002, 2007 and 2012. This would result in an overall rise in basic pension by a factor of 3.63 for pensioners who retired before November 2002.
The pension corpus of public sector banks was at about Rs 171418 crore, which is 14.28 times of RBI’s pension corpus, union members said.