Members of Railway Trade Unions oppose New Pension Scheme

Members of a Indian Railways union has opposed the new pension scheme and demanded that the employees should be kept out of the ambit of the scheme. Seeks Finance Minister intervention in 7th Pay Commission case.

Railway UnionsNew Delhi: Members of a railway union has opposed the new pension scheme and demanded that the employees should be kept out of the ambit of the scheme.

All-India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) General Secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra said that the union has urged Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to raise the matter with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to ensure the government keeps railway employees out of the ambit of new pension scheme.

Apprising Prabhu about railwaymen’s work in most precarious and arduous conditions, Mishra said, “Many employees lay down their lives while working on duty to keep the nation on move and trains on the run, therefore, like Armed Forces, concept of New Pension Scheme may also be abolished from Railways.”

Unions are drawing a parallel with the nature of duties performed by the armed forces

He said the National Pension System introduced from January 2004 has totally eroded the social security, and the staff appointed on or after this crucial date is always worried about their future.

AIRF also raised the issues of 7th Pay Commission recommendations with Prabhu and sought redressal.

Describing the recommendations as “retrograde”, Mishra said the report is not in the interest of railway men.

He urged upon the Railway Minister to raise the matter with Ministry of Finance before accepting the report of 7th CPC.

Prabhu seeks pension scheme exemption for railways workers

Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has urged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to consider a long-pending demand of Railways employees to exempt them from the National Pension Scheme just like the defence forces.

“May I request you to kindly have a re-look into the case sympathetically and consider favourably the demand of the Railway Federations to exempt Railway employees from the purview of NPS,” the minister wrote in a letter last month, adding there was strong merit in the case.

Mr. Prabhu said railway unions had been drawing a parallel with the nature of duties performed by the armed forces, which are exempt from the NPS at present.

Mr. Prabhu informed the All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) about his submission to the Finance Minister at a meeting on Wednesday.

The Minister recently also said that he was in discussion with the Finance Ministry seeking additional help to meet the ‘unbearable burden’ of the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations.

Mallikarjun Kharge, the Railways Minister in the previous government, had also raised the issue with the then Finance Minister in March 2014.

However, the Ministry of Finance, through a letter written in May this year, didn’t agree to the proposal to exempt railway workers from the purview of NPS.

Every central government employee appointed on or after January 1, 2004, has to face a deduction from his or her salary (10 per cent equal contribution from the employee and the employer) toward the NPS, which is a defined contribution scheme, instead of the defined benefit scheme that prevailed earlier.

Prior to 2004, government employees, including 1.4 million employees in the Railways, were entitled to a fixed pension linked to their final salary at the time of their retirement.

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