GUWAHATI, Aug 27 - The officers and employees of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today announced a countrywide mass leave on September 4 and 5 to press for fulfilment of their demands.
The United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees (UFRBOE) said the stir will be over the demands for updating pension, one more option to contributory provident fund (CPF) retainers to switch over to pension and grant of CPF or additional provident fund (APF) to recruits in the bank from 2012 onwards.
In a statement UFRBOE said that updating their pension had become necessary in view of “The increased miseries of pensioners as cost of essentials and medical costs are going up by leaps and bounds. In realisation thereof and in view of their past assurance the bank approached the government time and again for permission to improve pension amount, but to no avail.”
The UFRBOE also alleged that those who are being recruited in the bank after 2012 have been foisted with the New Pension Scheme (NPS), which is, in essence, an undefined benefit as their savings will be invested in share market, etc., and returns therefrom will determine their pension after retirement, which is extremely uncertain.
For those employees UFRBOE demanded security in future in the form of introduction of Bank’s Additional Provident Fund Scheme, where employees’ extra savings will fetch assured interest under the bank’s fund management or CPF facility like that in SBI.
“In 2011, RBI formally wrote to the Ministry of Finance to allow it to extend one option for retirees willing to switch over to pension, in view of improvement in pension regulations and wage revisions, which the government rejected. Again, in 2014, RBI formally proposed to the government to improve pension amount of old pensioners who are suffering. But government did not agree,” UFRBOE alleged in the statement.
The forum also said, “In 2017, the parliamentary committee on Subordinate Legislation unanimously recommended that RBI be allowed to extend one more option of pension, terming the government’s prohibition in this regard “arbitrary”, “Illegal” and “whimsical”. They also stated unequivocally that RBI is within its powers to improve its pension scheme. The report was submitted to the government, but the Ministry of Finance returned it. Again in October 2017, the then RBI governor Urjit Patel formally wrote to the government, quoting extensively from the parliamentary committee report that RBI would like to improve pension and provide option, which the government most unceremoniously declined.”