GDS/CHQ/42/1/2010(i) Dated: 23.09.2010
Department of Posts,
Sub: -Introduction of a new Service Discharge Benefit Scheme (SDBS) for Grmin Dak Sevaks working in the Department of Posts.
Ref: Your office letter NO.6-11/2009-PE-II dated 1.9.2009
We very strongly feel that the scheme which has been introduced on the lines of New Pension Scheme called NPS-Lite for the common man and workers in unorganized sector requires some qualitative improvement. While we feel that this is the first step towards providing some sort of social security to the Gramin Dak Sevaks, We are of the view that it is not proper to equate the Gramin Dak Sevaks who are employees in the Government department with workers in the unorganized sectors. We offer the following suggestions:
(i) This should be an additional benefit besides the Severance amount: The introduction of the Scheme in lieu of the Severance Amount or by withdrawing the benefit of severance amount in case of an employee who opts for the scheme, gives the impression that the amount has been taken out of one pocket of the employee to be put in another pocket. Even in case of employees in the private sector, the benefits of pension under the Pension Act and some sort of gratuity are available. There is no justifiable reason why the new Scheme of pension should not be in addition to the benefit of Severance Amount to give some sort of better and recognisable social scheme to the Gramin Dak Sevak employees.
We, therefore very fervently request your honour to consider our suggestion in its entirety and qualitatively and make the scheme available in addition to the existing scheme of Severance Amount.
(ii) The word "Discharge" used in the scheme has some ignominious accent. In the case of CCS(CCA) Rules, 1965 in case of departmental employees "Discharge" is a major punishment awarded on account of some grave misconduct and in the public domain discharge of an employee, may be in case of a GDS or other, carries a sense of ignominy or removal of on account of some misconduct. The word retirement is the proper word and the scheme may be called "Retirement Benefit Scheme of GDS".
We hope you will kindly consider our suggestion on this score and change the terminology as suggested by us.
(2) Madam, we have serious reservation about the endorsement of the letter. It is alright to endorse a copy of the scheme to all recognized unions and federations, but we can not appreciate why the same has been especially and selectively endorsed to"NUGDS at Manjeri, Kerala", an unrecoginsed union. This has two apparent implications: (i) It prima-facie appears that some sort of legitimacy is being given to one particular union through the back door, and (ii) It may create some problems for its selectivity. Even though NUGDS is neither recognized nor can be a constituent of the FNPO, we do not have any reservation about the scheme being endorsed to this recognized federation, but we have certainly strong reservation and objection to endorsement of the scheme to a particular unrecoginsed union i.e NUDGS
We, therefore, request you kindly to ensure that such apparent legitimacy is not given to a particular unrecognised union like the NUGDS.
We sincerely hope that our views will be genuinely taken into consideration and necessary action as suggested by us is taken.
GDS/CHQ/41/1/2010(ii) Dated: 24.09.2010
Department of Posts,
Subject: - Introduction of a new Service Discharge Benefit Scheme (SDBS) for Grmin Dak Sevaks working in the Department of Posts.
Ref: Your office letter NO.6-11/2009-PE-II dated 1.9.2010
Without Prejudice to our views expressed in our letter no GDS/CHQ/41/1/2010(i) dated 23.09.2010 and further thereto, we seek to make the following suggestions and seek clarification as below about the scheme as it is:-
1. At the outset we may point out that we had been assured that there will in a formal meeting with this union to elaborately discuss various points in the scheme. Though there was an informal meeting on 16.8.2010 of which no minutes were issued, a formal meeting is yet to be held.
(a) Death due to any cause: It has been laid down that in case of death of the Gramin Dak Sevak while is service, the nominee will receive 100% the accumulation as lump sum; and that will be the final exit. This defies the logic of social security. We very vehemently suggest that in event of death, the nominee should be paid 60% the accumulation and that would have accrued till his date of superannuation on the basis of remaining 40%, the nominee should be allowed family pension @ the rate of 60% of the pension that would have been due to the employee had he been alive. This will be the correct measure of social security as per the various schemes introduced by the government. The bread earner having passed away, this is not only proper but humanitarian and befitting. It may be mentioned that in case of flash floods, accidents, fire and the like, the next akin are given compensation. In case of a GDS employee, this at least in form of family pension would be the befitting compensation.
(b) It has been laid down that an existing regularly appointed Gramin Dak Sevak, on the date of appointment, if he opts for the scheme, the amount accrued till the date of his joining @1500 for every completed year of service till his enrolment will be added to the accumulated Contribution "at the time of discharge". In this connection we have to make two strong and valid suggestions:
(c) The amount @of Rs.1500/- per year should be transferred to thefund under the new scheme on the very date the employee opts for the scheme as in the case of GDS employees absorbed/appointed against departmental posts, so that the amount may earn bonus/interest as available or, the employees should be allowed to withdraw the amount @Rs1500/- per year so that he may invest in other scheme at choice.
(d) In order to reckon a completed year of service, the period of Service of six months or more should be treated as a completed year of service while the period of less than six months should be ignored.
(e) It has been laid down that after attaining the age of 58 years, an employee can withdraw 20% the accumulation and has to invest 80% in life annuity and in that case the department will not make any further contribution.
This is really very hard. On attaining certain years of age, say 55 years, the responsibilities increase. On attaining that age the employee should be allowed to withdraw certain percentage of the accumulated amount as a final withdrawal, or with option of depositing the amount with light interest and scheme should continue and the government should continue to make contributions as usual till his superannuation.
(f) The different dates for implementation of the scheme or exercising options are very short. We sincerely feel that sufficient time should be allowed and the time limits extended sufficiently, of course, before 1.1.2011.
(g) We sincerely feel that a certain percentage of the amount, say 60% should be invested in Government Securities in order to provide better and greater security. It should not be left to the sweet will of the pension fund Manager to invest wherever he likes.
(h) We are of strong opinion that the scheme should be available to every GDS employee, irrespective of age, i.e even if he has one year service at his credit.
3. Clarifications sought:
(i) Whether the six monthly/yearly deposit will earn any interest or bonus till the final investment? This is available in case of all sorts of deposits or even installments deposited in several scheme of life insurance.
(ii) Whether any annual intimation of the amount of deposit accumulated at the credit of particular employee or PRAN will be given to the employee so that he may be aware of the amount accumulated in his account?
(iii) The employee is required to open a SB account. While the purpose of opening such SB a/c is unclear, it is also not intimated as to what amount the a/c should be opened with. Should it be with the minimum amount prescribed under the SB rules? Kindly confirm. It is not clear whether regular transactions should be made in the account to avoid it being silent.
(iv) It is presumed that the Government will continue to make contributions in case of authorised leave/sanctioned leave kindly confirm.
The suggestions may kindly be given due consideration and acted upon and the clarifications sought may kindly be offered.
Copy forward to all Circle Secretaries/CHQ Office bearers for information and necessary action. They are requested to translate this letter in their local language and circulate among the Divisional/Branch Secretaries and members. They are requested to offer their own suggestions for improvement, if any to the CHQ.
All India Postal Extra Departmental Employees Union