A substantial adjustment has been made by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) for a limited number of All India Services (AIS) officers’ pension plans.
With this modification, AIS officers who were hired for positions that were advertised before the National Pension System (NPS) announcement on December 22, 2003, may choose to continue receiving benefits under the AIS (Death Cum Retirement Benefit) Rules, 1958, instead of the new NPS pension plan.
The latest Office Memorandum, dated July 13, issued by the DoPT states, “…it has been decided that the AIS officers, who have been appointed against a post/vacancy which was advertised/notified for recruitment prior to the date of notification of NPS (i.e., 22.12.2003) and who are covered under NPS on joining Service on or after 01.01.2004, may be granted one-time option to be covered under the provisions of the old pension scheme under AIS (DCRB) Rules, 1958.”
Under the provisions of the 7th Pay Commission, AIS officers receive salaries as per the recommendations for Central Government Employees. However, under the NPS, their pension is subject to market-linked returns. In contrast, the old pension scheme guarantees AIS officers a monthly pension equivalent to 50% of the last drawn pay at the time of retirement or superannuation.
This move follows recent amendments to the Death-Cum-Retirement benefits rules for AIS officers by the Central Government. The DoPT’s office memorandum clarifies the eligibility criteria for switching from NPS to the old pension scheme.
As per the memorandum, AIS members selected through the Civil Services Examination in 2003 and 2004, as well as those selected through the Indian Forest Service Examination in 2003, are eligible to be covered under these provisions.
The change in pension scheme comes as a response to the introduction of the National Pension System through the Ministry of Finance’s notification on December 22, 2003. Consequently, the All India Services (Death-Cum-Retirement Benefits) Rules, 1958, and All India Services (Provident Fund) Rules, 1955, were amended to mandate the coverage of AIS members appointed on or after January 1, 2004, under the NPS, eliminating the benefits of the old Defined Benefit Pension Scheme and General Provident Fund (GPF) for them. D9F8P38F
However, in light of various judgments from courts and tribunals, which have extended the benefits of the old Defined Benefit Pension Scheme to government servants appointed on or after January 1, 2004, against posts/vacancies advertised before the NPS notification, the DoPT received multiple representations from similarly situated AIS members. These representations requested an extension of the pension scheme benefits under AIS (DCRB) Rules, 1958.
After thorough examination and consultation with the Department of Expenditure, the DoPT has granted eligible AIS officers the one-time option to switch pension schemes, offering them the opportunity to choose the old pension scheme over the NPS.
This decision brings respite to AIS officers who were appointed against vacancies advertised before the NPS notification and have expressed a desire to receive the benefits of the old pension scheme. The one-time option empowers them to make a well-informed choice that aligns with their retirement plans and financial security.
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