I had two hour long discussion with one retired Brigadier from Corps of Signals settled down in Chandigarh on my return from Villipuram, Tamilnadu where we had an Awareness meet with ESMs and Veernaris on 22 Oct 2017. The conversation revealed to me many issues which our officer cadre are not aware of. I am giving gist of our discussion in question and answer form.
Q1. I am technical graduate passed out from IMA Dehradun in July 1978 and retired in Jan 2010 in the rank of Brigadier. I get two years ante dated seniority for all purposes. I am supposed to have passed out in Jun 1976 due to my antedated seniority. The Ex-NDAs and Direct Entries who passed out along with me in Jun 1978 are two years junior to me. Can pension of mine and those who passed out in Jun 1976 can be same?
A1. You are mixing up two issues. One is date of seniority for purpose of pay and promotion. In your case due to your ante dated seniority of two years, your date of seniority for purpose of pay and promotion is Jun 1976. But your pensionable service or qualifying service (QS) is from first date of commencement of training in IMA, Dehradun i.e. Jul 1977. You have therefore two dates i.e. date of seniority which is Jun 1976 and QS which is from Jul 1977. You were given short service commission of rank of 2Lt the day your training commenced in IMA Dehradun. Therefore your QS is from Jun 1977 to your date of retirement i.e. Jan 2010. Therefore your batch mates of 1976 batch and you would draw same pay while in service and your last drawn emoluments if are same, then you would draw same pension.
Q2. But those Ex-NDAs and Ex-DEs of 1976 batch also got same pay while I was in service. How is that?
A2. The pay is dependent upon the length of service or seniority. You and Ex-NDAs and Ex-DEs of 1976 batch must have become Capts in Corps of Signals more or less at the same time, might have got promotions to ranks of Major, Lt Col, Col and Brig at the same time till both of you retired. Your pay at the time retirement while in service could be same as your date of seniority is same i.e. Jun 1976. Pension of Ex-NDAs and Ex-DEs will be also same as it is 50% of last pay drawn. For example let us say Pay In Pay Band (PIPB) at the time of your retirement in Jan 2010 is Rs 56,000, Grade pay is Rs 8,900 and MSP is Rs 6,000 in Jan 2010 when you retired. The last pay drawn or reckonable emoluments are Rs 70,900 (Rs 56000+8900+6000). Your pension at the time of retirement is Rs 0.50 x 70900 = Rs 35,450 pm + DR. All Brigs of Corps of Signals whose last drawn emoluments are Rs 70,900 irrespective of date of commission will draw the same pension.
Let me complicate the issue a bit. You have to understand Ex-ACC officers who passed out with you from IMA, Dehradun in Jun 1978 will not get same last pay drawn. Though date of commission is same their pay and allowances are different as they are two years junior to you. If they were lucky enough to become Lt Cols or Cols and retired 10 years earlier than you (much before you as they are older than you at the time of commission and date of retirement is dependent on age) their last drawn pay is less hence pension is less. Though they may be commissioned with you in Jun 1978, because of their higher age at the time of commission they get lesser number of years to reach higher ranks and will retire at much earlier time frame. The date of retirement is dependent upon the age at the time of commission. Since they were older than you at the time of commission they will retire also at much earlier and hence might not become Brigs. Therefore their pension at the of their retirement (10 years earlier than you) is that of lower rank though they may with their OR service have 32.5 years of qualifying service.
Let me illustrate with an example so that you understand. An ACC Officer is commissioned at the age of 30 years with say 11 years of OR service whereas you with your ante dated seniority is deemed to have been commissioned at the age of 20 years from IMA Dehradun. The Ex-ACC Officer who passed out with you is 10 years older to you. He will at the maximum has only 24 years of service to serve and then at the age of 54 he will retire either in the rank of Lt Col or Col or even Major if he was not lucky enough to get promotions.
Now you see the state of Ex-NDAs, Ex-DEs and Ex – ACC Officers.
(a) Ex-NDAs and Ex-DEs of 1976 batch who are commissioned in Jun 1976 and you commissioned in Jun 1978 with two years ante dated seniority will have same pay in every rank and if they are also promoted like you to the rank of Capt, Major, Lt Col, Col and Brig and retired in Jan 2010 would draw the same last drawn pay at the time of retirement. Hence pension is also same.
(b) Your coursemate in IMA, Dehradun, an Ex-ACC Officer being of higher age groups howsoever brilliant he could be, would retire in lower rank of Major or Lt Col or Col and retire with lesser last pay drawn. But his OR service is counted towards higher pension in his last rank.
(c) Therefore last pay drawn is dependent upon many factors. One is age, another is rank in which one retired and third is type of commission and finally the number of years of service one has put in at the time of retirement. Even Ex-NDAs could be 22 years old at the time of commission. So you gain somewhere and lose somewhere.
Q3. When we drew the same pension at the time of retirement in Jan 2010 with same last pay drawn how is Ex-NDAs and Ex-DEs get more pension in OROP?
A3. Ex-NDAs and Ex-DEs will get more pension in OROP as their qualifying service is from Jun 1976 to Jan 2010 i.e. 33 years and 6 months. Your qualifying service is from Jul 1977 (first day of training in IMA, Dehradun) to Jan 2010 i.e. 32.5 years. Do not forget the Ex-NDAs and Ex-DEs of 1976 batch have more qualifying service than you though both might have same date of seniority. As Brig with 32.5 years of QS gets pension in OROP of Rs 37,280 whereas pension of Brigs who are Ex-NDAs and Ex-DEs with QS of 33.5 years is Rs 37,570.
Q4. If pay is same at the time of retirement, then how is that pension in OROP is different?
A4. Pay is dependent upon date of seniority. But pension is dependent on Qualifying Service. Your QS is less than your batchmates Ex-NDA and Ex-DEs of 1976 batch. You have to understand one more thing. All those Ex-ACC Officers who passed out with you in Jun 1978 get their OR service counted and their QS is more than you though both of you passed out at the same time but their pay is less as their date of seniority is only Jun 1978 but yours is Jun 1976. You are two years senior to Ex-ACC officer course mates.
Q5. But I saw in one AO which says tech graduates get two years ante dated seniority for purpose of pay, promotion and pension.
A5. AOs are applicable only to serving soldiers and not for pensioners. Tech Graduates do not get benefit of two years antedated seniority for purpose of pension as your qualifying service is from first day of commencement of training in IMA, Dehradun which is Jul 1977. This is given in Def Pay Regs 1961.
Q6. Does it mean the Ex-NDAs and Ex-DEs whose date of seniority is same as mine and who drew same pension at the time of retirement in Jun 2010 is same will draw higher pension in OROP?
A6. Yes. Pay is same as long both of you are in the service. But when you retire, the pension is dependent upon qualifying service in OROP. As mentioned Ex-NDAs and Ex-DEs of 1976 batch have one year of higher qualifying service as they passed out two years earlier than you as explained earlier. Your QS is from first day of training in IMA, Dehradun and date of superannuation which comes to 32.5 years. Ex-NDAs and Ex-DEs of 1976 batch will draw higher pension in OROP i.e. w.ef. Jul 2014 and Jul 2019.
Unless you understand the meaning of date of seniority, qualifying service and ages of retirement for various ranks, you will not be clear and will have doubts like this.
With warm regards,
Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)